Bowling Green is a city of roughly 55,000 residents in southwestern Kentucky, about midway between Nashville and Louisville. Prostitution and human trafficking are known to have occurred in the city. A 2013 sex trafficking case involving a minor is the only case leading to an arrest in the city, although advocates from Catholic Charities believe underground prostitution and trafficking is not rare.
In November 2013, police announced that after a three-week investigation, Kentucky State Police served an Edmonson County grand jury indictment warrant on an alleged trafficker. The charges included one count of human trafficking-victim under 18 years old, 10 counts of first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor-illegal sex act, 10 counts of possess/view matter portraying sexual performance by a minor, 10 counts of first-degree sodomy, 10 counts of first-degree sexual abuse, 10 counts of incest, 10 counts of use of a minor under 16-years-old in a sex performance and distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor. All the allegations involved the same child victim If convicted as charged, the man could receive a 70-year prison sentence.
In July, 2019, Bowling Green Police arrested four people as the result of an investigation into prostitution occurring in two local massage parlors. According to an arrest citation, Bowling Green police received tips of suspicious behavior, and researched several local massage parlors online. The phone numbers for the massage businesses had 39 ads on websites where commercial sex acts are advertised, and one was specifically named in some of the posts. Detectives conducted surveillance at the businesses, noticing that the customers were all males, and search warrants were executed by BGPD detectives and investigators from the Attorney General’s office. Officials found the employees did not have a massage license. One defendant was charged with promoting prostitution ( 2 or more prostitutes), 2nd degree wanton endangerment and practicing massage therapy without a license. Others were arrested for engaging in organized crime, promoting prostitution, and practicing massage therapy without a license.
To combat consumer-level demand driving local prostitution and sex trafficking, at least five reverse stings have been conducted by Bowling Green police, and the identities of the men arrested were publicized. For example, in June 2014, police conducted a human trafficking enforcement operation at a hotel in Bowling Green, resulting in the arrest of eight sex buyers who were charged with soliciting prostitution, a misdemeanor of the third degree.
- Bowling Green Police Department
- Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “Three Men Charged in Prostitution Sting”, Bowling Green Daily News, September 28 1998.
- “Sting Nets Arrest; Four Face Charges, Including Prostitution”, Bowling Green Daily News, September 8 1999.
- “Police News: Three Men Charged with Prostitution”, Bowling Green Daily News, June 8 2008.
- “Plum Springs Mayor Guilty of Solicitation”, Bowling Green Daily News, March 16 2012.
- “Police News: Plum Springs Mayor Charged in Connection to Prostitution Sting”, Bowling Green Daily News, March 16 2012.
- http://nbc24.com/news/local/prostitution-sting-results-in-8-arrests-in-bowling-green (2014)
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Man Accused of Pushing Girl, 11, into Prostitution”, Park City Daily News, April 30 1995.
- “Not Guilty Pleas Are Given in Sex Trafficking Case”, Bowling Green Daily News, December 18 2012.
- “Trial Dates to Be Set in Human Trafficking Case”, Bowling Green Daily News, August 16 2013.
- “Judge Orders Psychiatric Eval for Woman Accused of Prostituting a Juvenile”, Bowling Green Daily News, August 19 2013.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Prostitution Exists Here– Not Blatantly”, Bowling Green Daily News, August 11 1992.
- “Arrests Are Made after Alleged Prostitution”, Bowling Green Daily News, May 28 1993.
- “Police Make Prostitution Arrest”, Bowling Green Daily News, October 27 1996.
- “Massage Parlor Complaints Lead to a Prostitution Arrest”, Bowling Green Daily News, April 13 1997.
- “Police Say Prostitution Not Widespread”, Bowling Green Daily News, April 14 1997.
- “Man, Claiming to Be HIV-Positive, Arrested in Bust”, Bowling Green Daily News, November 13 2001.
- “HIV-Positive Man Enters Guilty Plea; Man Pleads Guilty to Prostitution with HIV”, Bowling Green Daily News, January 23 2002.
- “Police News: Local Woman Arrested for Prostitution”, Bowling Green Daily News, July 27 2005.
- “Police News: BG Woman Arrested on Prostitution Charges”, Bowling Green Daily News, October 7 2007.
- “Police Arrest Four in Online Scheme for Prostitution”, Bowling Green Daily News, April 17 2013.
- “Internet, Drug Use Help Fuel Increases in Prostitution; Number of Cases Climbing Locally and around State”, Bowling Green Daily News, February 23 2014.
- https://www.wbko.com/content/news/Four-arrested-following-investigations-into-massage-parlors (2019)
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: