|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Charlottesville is a city of over 46,000 residents, located in northern Virginia’s Albemarle County. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the city for more than 100 years, 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 are sex trafficking and prostitution related violence. For example, in June 2014, a human trafficker was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to forcing a 17-year-old girl from Honduras to prostitute herself in Charlottesville and nearby Harrisonburg. Law enforcement has also reported at least one incident of the targeted sexual assault of a prostituted woman, when in 1995 a Charlottesville sex buyer was arrested and charged with raping a woman he arranged to meet through a local escort service.
To curtail prostitution in the community, the Charlottesville Police Department has conducted street-level reverse stings since at least 1998, if not earlier. In May of that year, the CPD sent female officers undercover as decoys in the city’s downtown area. Three male sex buyers were arrested after attempting to solicit sex from the officers. Following their arrests, the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star reported that two of the men had been charged with felony solicitation using a 206-year-old state law against sodomy. At least one of the men “cut a deal with prosecutors and ended up pleading guilty to a misdemeanor.” His name was publicized by members of the local media.
While it is unclear if Charlottesville Police continued to target demand following this early operation, news reports suggest they may not have conducted stings on a regular basis from 1997 to 2006. In November 2006, CPD officers conducted a three-day sting targeting prostituted women. When asked about the operation, a representative for the department commented told news outlets that “they [had] not carried out a sting like this one since 1997.”
- Charlottesville Police Department
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Misdemeanor vs. Felony; Soliciting Sex Can Bring Sodomy Law into Play”, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, July 20 1998.
- “Old Law Aids Prostitution Crackdown,” Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 20 1998.
Background on Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Sex Trade Info Filed”, Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, June 15 2013.
- “Multistate Sex Trafficking Case Expands”, Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, December 6 2013.
- “City Man Admits to Role in Sex-Trafficking Ring; Police Say Brothel Was Run out of Harrisburg Home”, Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, April 17 2014.
- “Harrisonburg Resident Pleads Guilty to Human Trafficking Charge”, NBC/WVIR-TV 29, June 13 2014.
- “Man Who Forced Girlfriend into Prostitution Sentenced for Human Trafficking”, Charlottesville Daily Progress, October 15 2014.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Rape in Henrico Is Termed Similar to One in Sept.; Charlottesville Man Charged in Latest”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 6 1995.
- “Craigslist Rape Trial in Charlottesville Delayed,” Charlottesville Daily Progress, March 3 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.cvilletomorrow.org/brothels/ (1800s)
- “Charlottesville Officers Charged with Corruption; Indictments Say They Traded Favors with a Strip-Club Manager, Also Charged”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 9 2005.
- “Officers to Plead Guilty in Corruption Case”, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, June 16 2006.
- “Undercover Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WVIR-TV 29, November 30 2006.
- “Looking into the World of Online Prostitution in Charlottesville”, CBS/WCAV-TV 19, February 22 2008.
- “Prostitution Ring Suspect Arrested”, NBC/WVIR-TV 29, June 26 2009.
- “10 Arrested in Online Prostitution Sting”, Charlottesville Daily Progress, November 11 2009.
- “10 Arrested on Prostitution Charge”, NBC/WVIR-TV 29, November 11 2009.
- “City Police: Man Tried to Prostitute Self to Officer”, Charlottesville Daily Progress, May 2 2011.
- “County Resident Gets Jail Time for Running Prostitution Ring”, Charlottesville Daily Progress, January 24 2013.
Comments are closed.