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Brunswick County is a county located in the southernmost part of North Carolina and has a population of approximately 137,000 residents. Its county seat is Bolivia, NC. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented within the county. Among the more serious issues associated with the commercial sex market in the county is sex trafficking. For example, a web-based operation conducted by the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department, in November of 2012, led to the arrest of two Boiling Spring Lakes men each on two counts of promoting prostitution of a minor and two counts of supervising, supporting or protecting minors for prostitution. The two offenders were also indicted in connection with an attempted robbery of a former Brunswick County police officer.
In 2016, a Brunswick County couple was arrested on felony charges of human trafficking and promoting prostitution. In 2017, Brunswick County police worked with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office in arresting a 26-year-old women who was charged with promoting prostitution of a minor, of whom she took photos of, gave heroin to, and advertised sexual services from on Backpage.com. The woman was sentenced to a minimum of three years and eight months in prison.
In 2021, a Myrtle Beach, SC man was taken into custody in Brunswick County on charges including two counts of human trafficking a child victim, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, statutory rape of a child, statutory sex offense with a child, indecent liberties with a child, and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. According to arrest warrants, Kennedy did “knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, or obtain” two 14-year-old girls for the purpose of holding them in involuntary or sexual servitude.
Identity disclosure and loss of employment are consequences of buying sex within the city. For example, in May 2013, a now former lieutenant in the Northwest Police Department turned himself into the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office as the result of a web-based prostitution investigation conducted by the Boiling Spring Lakes Police Department. The offender was charged with participating in the prostitution of a minor after he allegedly contacted a 17-year-old female through an advertisement on Craigslist. He reportedly met with the teenage girl in Boiling Springs Lakes and exchanged $60 for sex acts. He was released from jail under a $100,000 unsecured bond. He was later sentenced to 45 days in prison, which was suspended, and 12 months of probation. The former lieutenant resigned the day after his arrest.
In August 2013, a Brunswick County sheriff’s deputy was arrested after a two-week internal investigation by the sheriff’s office regarding professional standards. Subsequently, a jury convicted him of two counts of soliciting prostitution and one count of soliciting crimes against nature. He was placed under unsupervised probation for 18 months. A 32-year-old woman accused the deputy of soliciting sex acts during a traffic stop. A second interaction with the female was arranged by internal affairs investigators in a fake traffic stop and arrest, and the deputy again solicited the woman for sex. His employment was terminated following his arrest.
Buyer Arrests with Employment Loss:
- Judge overturns solicitation verdict against former police officer (2014)
- https://portcitydaily.com/local-news/former-police-lieutenant-scheduled-for-trial-in-prostitution-case/ (2014)
- https://portcitydaily.com/ormer-sheriffs-deputy-appeals-soliciting-sex-acts-conviction-trial-superior-court/ (2014)
- https://portcitydaily.com/former-deputy-convicted-of-soliciting-prostitution-arrested (2014)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.starnewsonline.com/brunswick-county-prostitution-raid-raises-questions-of-human-trafficking (2010)
- https://portcitydaily.com/boiling-spring-lakes-police-arrests-two-for-promoting-prostitution-of-a-minor/ (2013)
- https://portcitydaily.com/local-news/brunswick-man-pleads-guilty-to-human-trafficking-of-a-minor/ (2014)
- https://portcitydaily.com/-no-contest-to-robbery-prostitution-human-trafficking-charges-dismissed/ (2014)
- https://www.wect.com/story/high-point-man-arrested-in-brunswick-co-on-human-trafficking-charge/ (2016)
- https://www.wwaytv3.com/man-facing-human-trafficking-charge-held-under-2m-bond/ (2016)
- https://portcitydaily.com/detectives-charge-70-year-old-southport-man-with-human-trafficking/ (2016)
- https://www.wect.com//myrtle-beach-man-accused-trafficking-two-teenage-girls-sex-brunswick-county/ (2021)
Background on Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: