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Cherry Hill is a township of about 71,000 residents, located southeast of Philadelphia in Camden County, New Jersey. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the community and in surrounding areas. For example, in March 2014, a man was arrested and charged with human trafficking for allegedly keeping women captive at a Cherry Hill motel and using violence and threats to force them to engage in prostitution daily. In January 2015, law enforcement discovered a trafficking victim during a prostitution sting that had been similarly coerced to commit acts of prostitution by a trafficker “several times a day by using threats of violence.”
In their efforts to reduce prostitution in the area, the Cherry Hill Police Department appears to have targeted sex buyers on at least one occasion. In July 2013, four women involved in prostitution were arrested during a CHPD joint operation with the FBI and Mount Laurel Police targeting online prostitution. The investigation aimed to identify escorts using Backpage.com to solicit sex buyers, and was designed to reduce prostitution and related crimes around local hotels and motels. During the operation, law enforcement also arrested and charged two men with promoting prostitution; these arrestees were alternately described as escort “service drivers” and “johns” (i.e., sex buyers) in media reports. It remains unclear if they were sex buyers or pimps/sex traffickers. All of the individuals arrested during the sting had their names, ages, and addresses released to the public.
- Cherry Hill Police Department
- Mount Laurel Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Disclosure of Identities:
- “Alleged Prostitutes, Drivers for Escort Web Site Arrested by Cherry Hill, Mount Laurel Police”, South Jersey Times, July 26 2013.
- “Online Prostitution Sting in Cherry Hill Nets 6 Arrests”, Cherry Hill Patch, July 25 2013.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Ex-Executive Gets 10 Years in Sex-Crime Case”, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 19 1988.
- “Ex-Prostitute Is Relieved over Pimp’s Arrest”, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 14 2014.
- “Man Charged with Human Trafficking in Cherry Hill”, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15 2014.
- “Prostitution Sting at Cherry Hill Hotel Nets Massachusetts Man, Human Trafficking Charges Follow,” South Jersey Times, January 22 2015.
- “Man Pleads Guilty to Human Trafficking,” Cherry Hill Courier-Post, March 2 2016.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Cherry Hill Madam Gets a Five-Year Jail Term”, Philadelphia Inquirer, December 5 1987.
- “Sex-Dungeon Operators Avoid Prison Sentences, They Got Probation for Prostitution. But a Judge Ruled They Were Not at Fault in the Drowning of a Toddler at Their House”, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 8 2003.
- “Prostitution Crackdown Nets 14 in S. Jersey; Escort Services and Massage Parlors Were Targeted in a Statewide Effort”, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 18 2005.
- “Alleged House of Prostitution Was Open Secret, Neighbors Say”, Cherry Hill Patch, March 14 2013.
- “Cherry Hill Man Ran Brothel from Home, Police Say”, Cherry Hill Patch, March 14 2013.