Christian County, MO

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

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.

Key Partners

State Missouri
Type County
Population 87324
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