Bethlehem, PA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Bethlehem is a city of approximately 75,000 residents, located near Allentown in Lehigh and Northampton Counties, Pennsylvania. Prostitution and sex trafficking cases have been reported in the area for years.  To address mounting complaints from residents, the Bethlehem Police Department began conducting street-level reverse stings in 1985. A series of operations was carried out in the 1990s, at times netting as many as 16 johns in a single evening.  Police have at times released arrestees’ names and other identifying information to the local media.

In the third annual Report on Commercial Sexual Exploitation in Pennsylvania by Villanova University’s Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute), Northampton was one of 10 Pennsylvania counties in which the number of individuals charged with violations of the state’s sex buying statute (§ 5902(e)) outnumbered the charged with violations of § 5902(a) for providing commercial sex since the state criminal code created separate offenses for buying and selling sex in 2014. The 10 counties were : Adams, Beaver, Bradford, Centre, Franklin, Lebanon, McKean, Mercer, Monroe, and Northampton.

Key Sources

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 72531
Location
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