Christian County, MO
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Christian County is located in the southwestern part of Missouri. Its population is approximately 89,000, and its county seat is the city of Ozark. Prostitution activity has been well-documented within the county, 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 is sex trafficking, some of which has involved child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often referred to in state laws as “child pornography).
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. County agencies have supported demand reduction activities in multiple communities. For example, in August 2013, officers from the Nixa Police Department, Christian County Sheriff’s Office and Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team (COMET) conducted a web-based reverse sting. Media reports stated that Nixa Police and COMET agents contacted Christian County sheriff’s deputies for their assistance. The team then set up an undercover investigation into web-based prostitution in a room at a local hotel. Seven people were arrested as a result of the operation, including three sex buyers. On September 10, 2013, the men were charged with patronizing prostitution. All three had their names and other identifying information publicized in local media outlets.
Some local arrests of sex buyers have occurred as the result of investigating allegations against real victims as opposed to the product of sting operations using police decoys. For example, in 2020 a case was dismissed in Christian County court against an Ozark man who was declared incapacitated and unfit to stand trial for crimes committed against children in 2015. The man had been indicted on charges of child sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a minor, possession of CSAM and promoting prostitution. Court documents accused him of enticing two children to participate in an act of sexual abuse for money, and also filming sexual contact involving the two children.
- Nixa Police Department
- Christian County Sheriff’s Office
- Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team (C.O.M.E.T.)
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “7 Arrested for Prostitution in Nixa”, KTTS 94.7 FM, August 26 2013.
- “7 Arrested in Prostitution Case, Nixa News Release Says”, Springfield News-Leader, August 26 2013.
- “Seven Arrested in Nixa Prostitution Sting”, NBC/KYTV-TV 3, August 26 2013.
- “Seven Arrested in Nixa Prostitution Sting”, Nixa Press, August 26 2013.
- “Nixa Police: ‘Special Operation’ Prostitution Case Ends in 7 Arrests”, Springfield News-Leader, August 27 2013.
- “Nixa Prostitution Sting May Shed Light on Problem of Sex Trafficking”, NBC/KYTV-TV 3, August 27 2013.
- “Police Warn Prostitutes Can Secretly Sell Sex in Ozarks Neighborhoods”, ABC/KSPR-TV 33, August 28 2013.
- “No Charges Filed After Prostitution Sting in Nixa”, Springfield News-Leader, August 30 2013.
- “Charges Filed in Prostitution Scheme”, Christian County Headliner, September 17 2013.
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking, Related CSAM:
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