Centerville, IA

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

Centerville is a city in and the county seat of Appanoose County, Iowa. Its population is roughly 5,400. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-established problems in the city, and have generated related crimes such as rape, assault, drug offenses, and production of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often called “child pornography” in criminal codes. These local cases have also involved the arrest of sex buyers and public disclosure of their identities. For example, in November, 2011, Centerville Police arrested an 83-year-old man on charges of prostitution. They received a complaint that the man had offered to perform sex acts on a woman in exchange for repayment of a loan. He allegedly grabbed the victim and began kissing her without consent. As a result, he faced two aggravated misdemeanor charges: prostitution and intent to commit sexual abuse.

In 2019, according to the criminal complaint, a man was in retail store on Jackson Street in Centerville, when he approached a woman and her son at the counter with his genitals exposed. He proceeded to ask the victim if she would like to make $200 and then referenced his exposed genitals. The man faced misdemeanor Indecent Exposure and Prostitution charges, and was released on bond.

In August, 2022, a Centerville man was charged with sexual crimes including prostitution involving a minor, and the production and possession of child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). The Centerville Police Department had arrested a 35-year-old man who was charged with third-degree sexual abuse, prostitution, lascivious conduct with a minor and possession of depiction of a minor in a sex act. The man had purchased two cans of an alcoholic beverage and an e-cigarette product for a juvenile of an unknown age, and the juvenile advised him she could not afford to pay for those products. The man then suggested that the victim perform a sexual act on him in exchange. After coercion from the offender, the victim performed that act, and then the man forced an additional sexual act on the victim that caused injury. After executing a search warrant, officers obtained multiple pictures of the victim fully and partially naked on the offender’s cell phone.

Key Partners

  • Centerville Police Department
State Iowa
Type City
Population 5433
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