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Claremore is a city of roughly 19,000 residents, located in eastern Oklahoma’s Rogers County. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local prostitution market is sex trafficking.
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. After receiving complaints from several women about a tow truck driver offering to tow the cars of women in exchange for sex, Claremore Police conducted a reverse sting. A female officer borrowed from the Owasso Police Department posed as a tow service customer in a stalled vehicle, and called the towing company. The suspect towed the car and made the kind of offer eliciting the prior complaints. He was arrested for soliciting sex. This is an unconventional type of reverse sting, and the only one encountered in our National Assessment research. The man was seeking to have sex with women in exchange for something of value (“free” towing), so fits the definition of a sex buyer. However, the woman posed as a tow service customer, not as a women engaged in prostitution. We do not know if this is the only reverse sting ever conducted in Claremore.
Oklahoma law prohibits people from engaging in prostitution under 21 O.S. 1029, which addresses both prostitution and solicitation of prostitution in the same manner under the same statute. Both prostitution and solicitation are misdemeanors. The penalties for prostitution and solicitation include a jail term of 30 days to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 on the first offense. The fines increase with subsequent convictions, and the court may also mandate 40 to 80 hours of community service.
- Claremore Police Department
- Owasso Police Department
Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- “Solicitation Sting: Police Arrest Man Following Complaint”, Claremore Daily-Progress, April 24 2012.
- “Tow Truck Driver Offers Free Tow in Exchange for Sex”, KRMG-FM 102.3, April 25 2012.
- “Solicitation Charges Filed against Beam”, Claremore Daily-Progress, May 17 2012.
- “Tow Barterer: Beam Receives Additional Charges”, Claremore Daily-Progress, June 3 2012.
- https://www.tulsaworld.com/archives/tow-service-operator-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (2012)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://newsok.com/undercover-prostitution-sting-nets-42-arrests-at-northeast-oklahoma-casinos (2013)
- “Claremore Man Arrested in Child-Prostitution Sting at Tulsa Motel on Friday”, Tulsa World, September 7 2014.
- “Claremore Man Arrested in Child-Prostitution Sting at Tulsa Motel”, Tulsa World, September 8 2014.
- https://www.tulsaworld.com/claremore-man-arrested-in-child-prostitution-sting-at-tulsa-motel (2014)
- https://ktul.com/news/local/claremore-residents-shocked-by-prostitution-arrest (2017)
- https://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/claremore-massage-parlor-open-after-prostitution-bust (2017)
- https://www.claremoreprogress.com/arrest-made-for-solicitation-of-prostitution-at-claremore-massage (2017)