Bristol County, MA
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Bristol County, Massachusetts has a population of about 580,000. It is located in the south eastern region of the state, and its government seat is the town of Taunton. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex 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. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include reverse stings, the disclosure of sex buyer identities, and employment loss. For example, a Fall River City Councilor and employee of the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department was among more than 20 men arrested during a prostitution sting operation conducted by police in August, 2010. He was charged with offering to engage in sex for a fee after he allegedly approached a female police officer who was working undercover as a prostituted woman in the area of 26 Morgan St in Fall River. The man was also employed as an efficiency auditor with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department, and he was quickly suspended and a termination hearing was scheduled. About a month after his arrest admitted to sufficient facts in the case — meaning he acknowledged that, if the case went to trial, the facts could warrant a guilty verdict. He accepted a six-month continuance of his case, a $300 court fine and classroom instruction in AIDS awareness. Three weeks after the prostitution arrest, the man was fired from his auditor’s job with the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, and also resigned from his seat on the Diman School Committee.
- Bristol County Sheriff’s Department
Employment Loss, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.heraldnews.com/article/ (2010)
- https://www.bostonherald.com/fall-river-councilor-arrested-in-prostitution-sting-could-lose-job/ (2010)
- https://www.tauntongazette.com/sheriff-hodgson-suspends-brian-bigelow/ (2010)
- https://www.wickedlocal.com/fall-river-city-councilor-brian/ (2013)
Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Taunton Siblings Held on Sex Trafficking Charges,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 13 2014.
- “Siblings Face Human Trafficking Charges,” CBS/WPRI-TV 12, March 14 2014.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Prostitution-Related Arrests on High St.,” Taunton Daily Gazette, October 24 2000.
- “Local Woman Arrested Again,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 10 2001.
- “Undercover Work Leads to Arrest of Alleged Pimp, Prostitute,” Taunton Daily Gazette, June 20 2002.
- “Crack Cocaine Fuels Taunton’s Hooker Surge,” Brockton Enterprise, April 23 2006.
- “Downtown Taunton Battling Image Problems,” Brockton Enterprise, July 18 2006.
- “Camera Aimed at Curbing Crime,” Brockton Enterprise, September 12 2006.
- “Surveillance on Tap for Flat Iron,” Taunton Daily Gazette, February 14 2007.
- “Surveillance Camera OK’d for Flat Iron Site,” Taunton Daily Gazette, May 9 2007.
- “Sex Services Lead to Bust,” Taunton Daily Gazette, August 11 2007.
- “Prostitution Problem,” Taunton Daily Gazette, August 10 2008.
- “Working the Streets,” Taunton Daily Gazette, August 11 2008.
- “Cycle of the Streets Hard to Break,” Taunton Daily Gazette, September 7 2008.
- “Sweeping Problem into the Streets,” Taunton Daily Gazette, September 19 2008.
- “Woman Busted after Propositioning Undercover Cop,” Taunton Daily Gazette, December 9 2009.
- “Woman Charged with Prostitution,” Taunton Daily Gazette, September 11 2012.
- “Prostitution Suspect Leads Police to Drugs,” Taunton Daily Gazette, January 19 2013.
- “Police Issue Summonses, Make Arrest for Sex Offenses,” Taunton Daily Gazette, February 20 2013.
- “Police Arrest Two on Prostitution Charges,” Taunton Daily Gazette, May 16 2013.
- “Two Arrested in Massage Parlor Sting,” Taunton Daily Gazette, September 29 2013.
- “Taunton Woman Issued Summons for Prostitution,” Taunton Daily Gazette, August 1 2014.
- “Two Prostitution Arrests in Two Days,” Taunton Daily Gazette, May 23 2015.
- “Man Caught with Alleged Prostitute,” Taunton Daily Gazette, June 5 2015.
- http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/20171120/taunton-woman-26-arrested-for-prostitution-in-police-sting (2017)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Death Spurs Fears about Serial Killer; Slaying of Taunton Woman Worries Brockton Authorities,” Boston Globe, August 11 1993.
- “Slain Prostitute Had Fear of Strangers,” Boston Herald, August 11 1993.
- “Taunton Man Suspected of Killing Woman Found in Bog,” Boston Herald, January 18 2003.
- “Man Questioned in Woman’s Death Held for Evaluation,” Quincy Patriot Ledger, January 20 2003.
- “Taunton Man Charged in Rape of Woman,” Boston Globe, February 28 2005.
- “Gouveia Pleads Not Guilty,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 1 2005.
- “Admitted Prostitute Kidnapped,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 4 2005.
- “Violent Web Scam Lures Victims to Area,” Brockton Enterprise, June 4 2006.
- “Rape Trial Nears End,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 14 2008.
- “City Man Found Not Guilty in Rape Case,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 15 2008.
- “Taunton Man Charged with Rape, Impersonating Cop,” Brockton Enterprise, July 27 2012.
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