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Blackstone is a town in southern Worcester County, Massachusetts, on the Rhode Island border. Its population was 9,200 at the 2020 census. It is considered to be within the Providence, RI metropolitan area. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented problems in the area for years. A recent example occurred in May, 2021, when the Blackstone Police Department arrested a woman in connection with an ongoing prostitution investigation. She was charged with Engaging in Sexual Conduct for a Fee. She had been arrested without incident at her home after allegedly agreeing to engage in sexual conduct in exchange for money with an undercover police officer. The sting was part of an ongoing investigation by the Blackstone Police Department in cooperation with the Blackstone Valley Drug and Counter Crimes Task Force. It was known to police and there was a lengthy history of calls for service at her home. She was arraigned in Uxbridge District Court. Throughout the county, there have been numerous cases of sex trafficking and violence against prostituted persons.
Among the approaches used to combat such problems are those targeting consumer level demand for commercial sex, which drives all prostitution and sex trafficking. For example, in December, 2021, three men were arrested by Blackstone police in a prostitution reverse sting. Each was charged with Sexual Conduct for a Fee. The sting was conducted on December 30 by officers with the Blackstone Police Department in cooperation with the Blackstone Valley Drug and Counter Crimes Task Force. The three sex buyers were arraigned in Uxbridge District Court on and were released on personal recognizance. A fourth suspect was also charged, but charges were dismissed by an Uxbridge District Court judge following arraignment. The sting operation focused on the alleged solicitation of sexual conduct in exchange for cash via social media. The investigation was initiated after Blackstone Police Department detectives developed information regarding alleged prostitution solicitation from a previous case. The Blackstone Chief of Police said that the operation was intended to send a strong message to individuals soliciting prostitution in the community, and that “…not only will it not be tolerated, but our department will proactively seek out and arrest those participating in these crimes.” He also said that when these types of activities occur it has an effect on the safety, well being and quality of life of everyone in those neighborhoods.
Employment loss is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred in the city. For example, in August, 2003, a man resigned as chairman of the Blackstone-Millville Regional School Committee two weeks after being arrested in a prostitution sting in Woonsocket, RI. The school administration office released the sex buyer’s resignation letter, in which he also sought a break from “active participation” with the committee. Blackstone and Hopedale, MA officials called for the man to go even further and step down altogether from his public roles in their towns. The man also was employed by the Hopedale school system, where he remained employed but was placed on probationary employment status. The Hopedale Town Coordinator had said publicly that the man should resign as the school system’s technology director.
- Blackstone Police Department
- Blackstone Valley Drug and Counter Crimes Task Force
- Uxbridge District Court
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.newsbreak.com/three-men-arrested-in-blackstone-for-solicitation (2021)
- https://www.thesunchronicle.com/seekonk-resident-nabbed-in-prostitution-sting (2021)
- https://www.facebook.com/login/www.facebook.com/BlackstonePolice (2021)
- https://jgpr.net/blackstone-police-charge-three-in-connection-with-ongoing-prostitution-solicitation-investigation/ (2022)
- https://www.valleybreeze.com/three-men-charged-in-blackstone-prostitution-investigation (2022)
- https://thisweekinworcester.com/four-men-arrested-blackstone-solicitation/ (2022)
- https://www.patriotledger.com/article/20030810/news (2003)
Background on Local Prostitution:
- “Suburbs Seeing Their Share of Sex Trade”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, November 12 2012.”
- “Worcester Officials Seek Ways to Curb Prostitution”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, October 1 2012.”
- “N.Y. Woman Charged with Prostitution in Northborough”, MetroWest Daily News, June 2 2012.
- “Northborough Police Searching for Six in Connection with Double Stabbing”, MetroWest Daily News, October 23 2012.
- “Suburbs Seeing Their Share of Sex Trade”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, November 12 2012.
- “Northborough to Consider Suspension or Revocation of Motel 6 License”, MetroWest Daily News, November 15 2012.
- “Northborough Town to Consider Yanking Motel 6 License”, MetroWest Daily News, November 16 2012.
- “Northborough Motel Owner Promises to Make Changes”, MetroWest Daily News, November 20 2012.
- http://northborough.wickedlocal.com/northborough-woman-faces-prostitution-gun-drug-charges (2017)
- https://patch.com/2-marlborough-men-arrested-prostitution-sting-northborough (2017)
- http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/human-trafficking-and-prostitution-in-metrowest (2017)
- https://patch.com/break-arrest-prostitution-7-11-marlborough-police-log (2018)
- https://patch.com/marlborough-man-among-10-arrested-paying-sex-worcester (2018)
- https://www.wgbh.org/changing-the-story-about-prostitution-in-worcester (2019)
Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area
- “3 Men Held in Worcester Kidnapping, Women Taken to Boston”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 14 2003
- “Man Seeks to Seal Records, Charges Involving a Minor Prostitute Were Dismissed”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 7 2003
- “Man Charged in Rape at Motel 6”, Northborough Patch, September 11 2013.
- “Northborough Police Investigate Alleged Prostitution at Motel 6”, Westborough Community Advocate, September 11 2013.
- “Worcester Man, 36, Accused of Having Sex with Teen Prostitutes at Northboro Motel”,Worcester Telegram & Gazette, September 11 2013.
- “Prostitutes Move Online, Behind Closed Doors Making Arrests Tougher”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, November 17 2013.
- “Former Worcester Cabbie Held on Bail; Accused of Cavorting with Teen Hookers”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August 6 2014.
- https://turnto10.com/news/local/six-arrested-in-sex-sting (2016)
- https://jgpr.net/blackstone-police-department-arrests-charges-woman-ongoing-prostitution-investigation/ (2021)
- https://blackstonepolice.org/prostitution-investigation/ (2021)
- https://twitter.com/BlackstonePD/status (2021)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area
- “Serial Killings Suspected in Mass.”, Associated Press, March 25 2004
- “Slayings Highlight Need for a Women’s Shelter; Prostitutes, Drug Abusers Seen as Being at Serious Risk”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 28 2004
- “Serial Killer’s 3 Victims Shared Short, Troubled Lives”, Norwalk Hour, April 10 2004
- “Slayings Highlight Community at Risk, Program Examines the Troubled Lives of Three Victims”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, July 20 2004
- “Woman’s Apparent Slaying Probed, Police Suspect Link to Deaths of 3 Others”, Boston Globe, September 19 2004
- “Mean Streets, Desperate Lives; The Area of Worcester, Mass., Where Wendy Morello Was Last Seen Alive Is Plagued by Crime, Drug Addiction– and the Killings of Four Prostitutes in the Last Year; Police”, Portland Press Herald, September 26 2004″ Lack of Clues Stymies Case on Serial Killer”, Boston Globe, December 16 2004
- “Serial Killer Sought; ‘Person of Interest’ in Prostitute Slayings”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 2 2008
- “Man Is Guilty of Rape, Kidnapping; Prostitutes Said They Were Assaulted”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 30 2010
- “Ex-Officer Gets 10 to 12 for Rape”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, February 26 2010
- “Alex Scesny of Berlin to Be Tried for Raping, Murdering Theresa Stone”, Associated Press, April 29 2010
- “Scesny Rape, Murder Trial Date Slated”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 29 2010
- “Witness Says She Was Kidnapped; Man Charged with Knife-Point Rape, Beating of Prostitute”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 22 2011
- “No Sexual Assault Found; 1 Charge Sticks in City Case”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 24 2011
- “Scesny Guilty of ’96 Fitchburg Murder”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 29 2012
- “Briddon Convicted on Rape, Assault”, Worcester Magazine, July 23 2012
- “Worcester John Gets 8-10 Years in Rape of Prostitute, Assault with Brick,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 16 2015
- “Millbury Man Convicted of Attack on Prostitute in Sutton Cornfield,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, June 9 2015
- “Woman Working to Help Worcester’s Prostitutes Get off the Streets Used to Be One of Them,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 29 2016