Cedar City, UT

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

Cedar City is the largest city in Iron County, Utah. It is located 250 miles south of Salt Lake City and 170 miles north of Las Vegas. Cedar City has a population of approximately 35,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking in the city are well documented. For example, a Cedar City woman was arrested in November 2013 on charges of rape after allegedly prostituting her 13-year-old daughter to pay her utilities. According to court documents, the woman actively recruited at least two men to have sex with her daughter; in exchange for assisting with paying utilities at the woman’s apartment. She allowed the men to share a bedroom with the girl,  provided condoms, and encouraged sexual abuse of the child in exchange for financial support.

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 2010, a  web-based reverse sting was conducted to combat consumer-level demand for prostitution. The joint undercover operation with officers and agents from nearby communities resulted in the arrest of eight sex buyers, including an administrator at Southern Utah University. An assistant city attorney said those guilty of the charge typically face a $623 fine, bench probation, are required to take an HIV test, and must promise to stay out of trouble. The identities of the arrestees were publicly disclosed.

Key Partners

  • Cedar City Police Department
  • Iron/Garfield Counties Narcotics Task Force
  • Beaver/Iron County Major Crimes Task Force
  • Iron County Sheriff’s Office
  • Utah Adult Probation and Parole
State Utah
Type City
Population 35235
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