Clark County, IN

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

Clark County, Indiana is located directly across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. At the 2020 census, its population was approximately 121,000. The county seat is Jeffersonville, and other noteworthy communities include Sellersburg and Clarksville.  Clark County is part of the Louisville/Jefferson County, KY–IN Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution activity has been well-documented throughout the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example, in October, 2008, police announced that they had busted a Clarksville business for prostitution. It was an undercover operation focused on a massage therapist business near Eastern Boulevard. In August, 2010, Southern Indiana investigators announced they had busted a multi-state prostitution ring based in Clarksville. They believed it involved illegal immigrants paying off their debts to get into this country. In 2013, a local theater was the site of sex crimes including an assortment of indecent exposure and public sex acts among customers paying to see a pornographic film. Other businesses in neighboring areas within Clark County have also been the sites of problematic commercial sex, in some cases receiving penalties for promoting and profiting from prostitution.  In August 2011, police in Jeffersonville investigate a 400-person long list of names found when they conducted a takedown of a North Shore Drive business that operated as a brothel that advertised online. Undercover officers found evidence supporting the arrest five of the six women inside for prostitution, and police discovered a client list with around 400 names and phone numbers, broken down to how much the business made from each client. The owners of the business were charged with promoting prostitution. The investigation spanned several months, and was sparked by multiple complaints from residents. In October 2015, four people were arrested in connection with alleged acts of prostitution at a tattoo business in Jeffersonville. The Jeffersonville Police Department started investigating multiple complaints of prostitution at the business on East 10th Street. Investigators found that employees offered sex acts for a fee. Jeffersonville Sergeant Isaac Parker said the sex acts were performed at Artistic Addictions, a tattoo and body piercing salon.  Staff faced charges including  racketeering, money laundering, promoting prostitution, and prostitution. The warrants were executed by the Indiana State Police, Jeffersonville officers, the Clark County Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

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. Demand reduction tactics used in the county include the arrest of sex buyers, the public disclosure of their identities, and their loss of employment. For example, in May, 2017,  a former Clark County Sheriff was charged for allegedly paying women for sex acts, two years after he pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about another relationship with a prostituted woman and was forced to resign.  On May 1, a Sellersburg police officer requested that a warrant be issued for the suspect on two counts of “patronizing a prostitute.” Three days later, the officer requested additional charges of the same nature be brought against the suspect. According to police reports, the case began when the man, a Sellersburg resident, was dining at a local restaurant with a woman who had been accused of stealing by restaurant staff.  Police could not determine whether the woman had actually stolen anything, but they did notice a syringe in her purse and took her to the police station.  The man told one of the officers that he had given the woman money to help her out, and the woman told an officer that she was an escort and that the man had picked her up and given her $400, and that he had paid her $300 for sexual services two times before. The same man had faced legal trouble related to a relationship with a prostituted woman before. He was punished with two years’ probation, $4,000 in fines and 240 hours of community service in April 2015 after he made false statements to FBI agents while he was the Clark County Sheriff when they questioned him about his connection to a prostituted woman. The man pleaded guilty to two counts of making false statements to the investigators per a plea agreement with the office of the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Indiana. He stepped down from his role as sheriff in 2014 after he was first indicted for patronizing prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Clark County Sheriff’s Department
  • Clark County’s Prosecutor’s Office
  • Sellersburg Police Department
  • Jeffersonville Police Department
State Indiana
Type County
Population 117410
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