Boca Raton, FL

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Boca Raton is a city of approximately 100,000 residents, located in southeast Florida’s Palm Beach County. Prostitution and sex trafficking (particularly indoor prostitution and prostitution rings, rather than street prostitution) are longstanding problems in the city, and have generated complaints from the community.  Recent prostitution investigations have included cases of human trafficking.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. The Boca Raton Police Department has conducted street level and media-based reverse stings since at least 1990. That year, a male sex buyer was arrested after placing a newspaper advertisement for a masseuse. A female Boca Raton officer answered the advertisement after the BRPD received complaints that the man wanted sex. The prospective buyer was arrested after an interview in his home with the officer in which he offered her $30 an hour for sex. He pled guilty and was given a fine, and ordered to perform community service.

Following sting investigations, the names, ages, and hometowns of arrested sex buyers are released by the BRPD and sometimes reported in the media. A handful of county-level ordinances have also been used to determine sentences of sex buyers arrested in Boca Raton. In the early to mid-1990s, for example, the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that a Palm Beach County Circuit Judge had begun offering first-time offenders charged with solicitation in Boca Raton the option of completing a diversion program in lieu of jail time. The program, instituted in February 1990, was composed of a two-hour class (dubbed Risk Education for Sex Offenders), a HIV blood test, mandatory attendance at four court hearings for prostituted women, and “reading a psychological profile of a prostitute who was diagnosed with AIDS.” For additional information about county-level efforts to reduce demand, see Palm Beach County.

Key Partners

  • Boca Raton Police Department

Key Sources

John School:

Brothel Busts with Sex Buyer Arrest, Cameras:

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Florida
Type City
Population 98776
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