Chatham Township, NJ
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Chatham Township is a suburban community located in Morris County, New Jersey. The township’s population is roughly 9,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the communities and unincorporated areas of Morris County for decades, including within Chatham. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example, in 2000, in response to numerous complaints, the Chatham police and the Prosecutor’s Office investigated a massage business in an office building on Main St., and a sting operation resulted in several arrests. The owner of the business was charged in August 2000 with maintaining a facility for prostitution. The owner pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of violating a local ordinance in the case. In March, 2003, Chatham police and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office conducted a similar joint investigation and “sting” operation that led to an arrest on charges of prostitution. That time the target was another massage therapy business operating in an office building on Main St., and one offender was charged with engaging in prostitution. Information provided by an off-duty Chatham police officer, and an anonymous tip that came into the Morris County Sheriff’s Crimestoppers hotline in February 2002, helped prompt the investigation.
Among the ways in which the community has sought to address such problems have been the implementation of tactics focusing on the consumer-level demand for commercial sex that drives all sex trafficking and prostitution. In April, 2004 the former Chatham Chief of Police was arrested in a staged traffic stop in Mount Olive. The man had begun his police career more than three decades previously in Morristown and spent nearly 30 years in Chatham, culminating in being named the chief. The arrest came shortly after the man allegedly met a woman to engage in prostitution, and he proposed a business plan for conspiring on a prostitution operation. The man apparently stumbled into a police investigation when he first met with the prostituted woman at an unnamed Mount Olive motel. The retired police chief allegedly indicated that he would use his expertise and his knowledge of police procedures to assist in the promotion of the prostitution business. The investigations and stings targeting prostitution involved many more suspects and locations than the Chief and the events at the unnamed hotel. For example, a person at an aromatherapy business was charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree; another person from a corporation in Kenvil was charged with engaging in prostitution; a person with a therapy business in Roxbury was charged with promoting prostitution in the third degree; a man from Randolph who was charged with soliciting prostitution in the fourth degree; and five people with Roxbury businesses were charged with a variety pf prostitution and related crimes, including engaging in prostitution, promotion of prostitution, and various illicit drug charges. The former Chatham police chief was charged with promoting prostitution. The woman was charged with promoting prostitution, engaging in prostitution, possession of illicit drugs, and illegal possession of a stun gun.
- Chatham Township Police Department
- Mount Olive Police Department
- Morris County Prosecutor’s Office
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.newjerseyhills.com/prostitution-charges-hook-ex-chief (2004)
- https://www.iswface.org/policechief2.html (2004)
- https://www.newjerseyhills.com/ex-chief-fesses-up-to-scandal (2005)
- https://www.tapinto.net/chatham-township-committee-to-introduce-2022-loitering-security-camera-ordinances (2022)
Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in the Area:
- “‘Mansion Madam’ Pleads Guilty, Gets Probation,” Jersey City Journal, May 12 1999.
- https://www.newjerseyhills.com/sting-leads-to-main-st-prostitution-charge (2003)
- “Prosecutor Seeks Cash from Suspected Prostitution Parlor; $800,000 Forfeiture Action Targets Proceeds from Morris Township Massage Operation,” Newark Star-Ledger, August 22 2006.
- https://www.nj.com/news/local/parsippany_police_arrest_five (2010)
- https://www.facebook.com/arrests-for-theft-prostitution-and-warrant (2014)
- https://www.tapinto.net/teen-girls-used-for-prostitution-in-morris-county (2016)
- https://www.dailyrecord.com/police-prostitution-embassy-suites-howard-johnson (2016)
- http://parsippanyfocus.com/prostitution-arrest-at-hilton-hotel/ (2017)
- https://www.nj.com/morris/police_arrest_3_accused_of_prostitution_at_parsipp.html (2017)
- https://www.nj.com/news/local/parsippany_makes_another_prost.html (2017)
- https://patch.com/Parsippany/3-women-charged-prostitution-parsippany-police (2017)
- https://www.northjersey.com/man-found-guilty-trafficking-minors-morris-county-nj-hotels (2019)
- https://patch.com/new-jersey/morristown/6-arrested-morris-co-hotel-prostitution-bust-pd (2019)
- https://www.facebook.com/chathampatch/posts/19-arrested-in-new-jersey-prostitution-drug-bust (2019)
- https://www.msn.com/man-sentenced-28-years-sexual-assault-promoting-prostitution (2022)
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