Clackamas County, OR

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

Clackamas County has approximately 415,000 residents and is located in Northwestern Oregon. Its county seat is Oregon City and its largest communities are Oregon City and Lake Oswego. It also contains Canby, Wilsonville, Gresham, and a small portion of Portland. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity has been known to occur in the area for decades. Between October 2018 and 2019, the Oregon Department of Justice and the Department of Human Services identified over 700 human trafficking victims across the state, with Clackamas and Multnomah counties having the highest count. The commercial sex market has been linked to other crimes. For example, violence against prostituted women has been documented. In fact, serial killers including the “Molalla Forest Killer” and the “Green River Killer,” targeted prostituted women in areas of Washington and Oregon, including Clackamas County. Prostitution has also been linked to drug usage and overdose.

To address such problems, the CCSO, often in collaboration with municipal law enforcement agencies, have employed tactics to undermine the consumer-level demand that provides the revenue for prostitution and sex trafficking markets. For example, in 2009, FBI agents—working with Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies, Eugene police and federal immigration authorities—contacted individuals offering sexual services through Craigslist ads. This operation led to six arrests on accusations of prostitution or promoting prostitution. The FBI said these stings were part of an area-wide crackdown that netted a total of seven underage girls and six adult sex traffickers/pimps in the Portland area. Police also cited 14 prostituted women and three sex buyers, and rescued a 17-year-old girl from Vancouver, WA, who was sex trafficked. She was taken into protective custody and assessed by the state Department of Human Services.

More recent examples include a case from February 2018, where a man was indicted in Washington County Circuit Court for sex trafficking of a 17-year-old victim. In June 2018, the CCSO and other agencies participated in a reverse sting led by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office that resulted in the arrest or citation of 37 people during an anti-human trafficking effort. During the operation, investigators communicated online with sex buyers. Each individual arrested and/or cited faced charges of prostitution-related crimes, including commercial sexual solicitation.  In March, 2023, the Lake Oswego Police Department conducted a sex trafficking operation with the assistance of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon City Police Department, the Milwaukie Police Department and the Sandy Police Department. During the sting, law enforcement officers posed as decoys, who were contacted by men offering to pay money in exchange for performing requested sexual acts. Eight men, responded and agreed to meet with the decoys. A Centennial High School assistant principal (in Gresham, OR) initially gave a false name and refused to identify himself so he was lodged at the Clackamas County Jail in Oregon City, Clackamas County, in order to get a positive identification. After receiving information about the arrest, the Centennial School District confirmed that the alleged sex buyer was a Centennial High School assistant principal and announced that they placed the man on administrative leave pending further investigation. He was charged for commercial sexual solicitation and the additional charge of giving false information to a peace officer in connection with a citation. The other seven men were cited and released for commercial sexual solicitation. Their identities were included in news reports.

Sex buyers have also been caught as the result of ad-hoc arrests. For example, in June 2021, the CCSO Human Trafficking Team and Adult Sex Crimes Unit arrested a 40-year-old man on multiple charges including prostitution, rape, sex abuse, and online sexual corruption of a child.

Employment loss is also a tactic used to reduce the demand for commercial sex. In July 2021, a man resigned from the Clackamas Community College Board of Education the day after he was asked to step down (board members can’t be terminated). The former legislator and speaker of the Oregon house was caught in a web-based reserve sting conducted by the Portland Police. He was charged with commercial sexual solicitation, a crime created by HB 2714—a bill that he himself had voted for.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Employment Loss, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution, Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Oregon
Type County
Population 415084
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