Broken Arrow is a suburb of Tulsa, Oklahoma with a population of approximately 108,000. The city is situated primarily in Tulsa County but also has a section in western Wagoner County. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. This activity 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. In an effort to deter sex buyers, the Broken Arrow Police Department has conducted periodic reverse stings since at least 2010. In March of that year, police conducted a web-based reversal at a local hotel that resulted in the arrests of four johns. According to the Broken Arrow Ledger, “a total of 10 officers were utilized in various capacities, ranging from posing online as prostitutes or those soliciting sex, to acting as such in person at the hotel. Other officers made the actual arrests and transported suspects to booking where the suspects were charged.” Following their arrests, all of the offenders’ names, ages and addresses were released to the public.
Oklahoma law prohibits people from engaging in prostitution under 21 O.S. 1029, which addresses both prostitution and solicitation of prostitution in the same manner under the same statute. Both prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors. The penalties for prostitution and solicitation include a jail term of 30 days to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 on the first offense. The fines increase with subsequent convictions, and the court may also mandate 40 to 80 hours of community service.
- Broken Arrow Police Department
- Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming, Community Service:
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 2 Arrests; Officers Asked for Massage, Got Other Offers Instead”, Broken Arrow Ledger, November 13 2006.
- “Broken Arrow Prostitution Sting Nabs Three”, CBS/KOTV-TV 6, February 1 2008.
- “Two Arrested on Prostitution Complaints at Local Motel”, Broken Arrow Ledger, September 24 2009.
- “Broken Arrow Man Arrested on Maintaining House of Prostitution Charges”, CBS/KOTV-TV 6, July 2 2013.
- https://ktul.com/news/local/prostitution-arrests-cause-a-health-scare-in-broken-arrow (2017)
- https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/oklahoma-preacher-arrested-racist-prostitute-massage-parlor-bust (2017)
- https://www.fox23.com/news/two-arrested-in-prostitution-bust-at-broken-arrow-massage-parlor (2018)
- https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/crimewatch/broken-arrow-massage-parlor-owner-employee-arrested-on-prostitution-allegations (2018)