Cayuga County, NY

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

Cayuga County is located in upstate New York, abutting Lake Ontario and near Syracuse. Its population is approximately 76,000, and its county seat and largest city is Auburn. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the county, and to address them, efforts have been made to combat consumer-level demand. For example, in September 2015, four people were arrested in Cayuga County after police began to hear reports about a prostitution ring targeting agricultural workers at local farms. Out of the four arrests, two people were charged with patronizing a prostituted person; one person was charged with prostitution, and one was charged with possession of a loaded firearm.

In 2018 a man was sentenced to two years in prison for crimes committed during a reverse sting in Cayuga County in 2016. The offender was one of 11 people arrested during a prostitution sting. At the time, New York State Police had posted an online decoy ad for a mother-daughter prostitution team stating that the daughter was 12 years old. The offender answered the ad, demonstrating the intent to have sex with the woman and child in exchange for money. He was arrested in Weedsport on attempted rape and attempted patronization of a prostitute. He was also charged with possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child when a video of an adult raping an 8-year-old girl was found in his possession. The man had previously pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Not all arrests of sex buyers are the result of reverse stings; they may occur as the product of investigating allegations of offenses against real victims or during the course of enforcement actions. For example, in 2016, police in Cayuga County arrested five people on charges of drug use and prostitution. The investigation began as a traffic stop, but it was discovered that the driver had suspended license and registration. Police determined that the 19-year-old driver was heading to a location in Scipio to engage in prostitution. The two passengers in the car were charged with assisting in the transportation of a person to commit prostitution. The man at their destination in Scipio was charged with soliciting prostitution when they learned he had replied to an online ad and solicited the woman over the phone.

Key Partners

  • Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department
  • New York State Police
State New York
Type County
Population 76248
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