Billings County is located in the western portion of North Dakota, along Interstate 94 near the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The county has a population of less than 1,000. Medora is a town with a population of 111 that serves as the county seat, and is the only incorporated community within the county. In spite of its small population, prostitution activity has been well-documented in Medora and unincorporated areas of the county. Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement responses to the problem. One police operation occurring in early 2013 that resulted in the arrest of five sex buyers. The men were charged with criminal conspiracy to hire an individual to engage in sexual activity, according to a release from the Medora Police Department. On Jan. 14, the Medora PD — with assistance from the Billings County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Highway Patrol — responded to a call at a residence in Medora. Their investigation resulted in allegation that all five men agreed to hire a woman with the intention of engaging in sexual activity. A woman was allegedly “hired to come from Dickinson to Medora, where housing was provided by the company for whom they worked.” The investigation determined that her “name and contact information was located online,” according to the MPD release. The names and ages of the five arrestees were publicly released by police. This was not a traditional reverse sting using a police decoy, but was a proactive effort by police to arrest men for attempting to buy sex, so we have included it as a site on Demand Forum. Five people — all from outside North Dakota — have been charged in connection with a January incident involving an alleged prostitute in Medora.
- Billings County Sheriff’s Office
- Medora Police Department
- North Dakota Highway Patrol
Investigation, Arrest, and Shaming of Sex Buyers:
- “Medora City Council: Police Says No Results in ‘Time Consuming, Painfully Long’ Investigation into Jan. 14 Incident”, Dickinson Press, February 6 2013.
- “Possible Prostitution Investigation in Medora”, Bismarck Tribune, February 14 2013.
- “Charges Expected Soon in Medora Alleged Prostitution Case”, Bismarck Tribune, February 17 2013.
- “5 Face Charges for Alleged Prostitution Purchase in Medora”, Dickinson Press, March 7 2013.
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area: