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Clarkstown is a city of approximately 86,000 residents, located in Rockland County, about 35 miles north of New York City. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the city. For example, the use of a local motel for drugs, prostitution, and related crimes led to the arrest of at least 15 people. Authorities accused the motel’s owners of facilitating these crimes by allowing them to take place in their rooms. In 2017, the district and county attorneys sought to close the motel or fine the owners for intentionally conducting, maintaining, or permitting these crimes on the property. A 2018 settlement required the motel owners to pay a $10,000 fee to help survivors of human trafficking and upgrade staff training and security. Authorities reported that the complaints to the Clarkstown police have decreased since using this civil penalty.
In their efforts to reduce prostitution in the community, local law enforcement has also sought to address consumer-level demand by conducting reverse stings. For example, in August 2015, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office (RDCAO) announced the arrests of five sex buyers during a web sting in Clarkstown. The operation was a joint effort by the RDCAO and Clarkstown Police Department (CPD). Each of the men arrested reportedly responded to an online advertisement suggesting prostitution and offered money for sex with a female undercover officer. Following their arrests, all of the men’s names and arrest photos were publicized in the press.
Similarly, in April 2016, six men were arrested after they responded to a fictitious advertisement for prostitution placed by law enforcement and arranged to meet an undercover officer at a Clarkstown hotel. The operation was another collaboration between RDCAO and CPD officials. Although only six men were arrested, police reported that over 140 people responded to the undercover advertisement in four hours. All offenders’ identities were publicized in the press.
- Clarkstown Police Department
- Rockland County District Attorney’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.lohud.com/clarkstown-prostitution-sting (2015)
- “Prostitution Sweep Conducted in Clarkstown,” Mid Hudson News (2015)
- https://patch.com/sex-trafficking-crackdown-clarkstown (2015)
- https://patch.com/6-arrests-clarkstown-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://www.lohud.com/prostitution-sting-clarkstown (2016)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.lohud.com/nyack-motor-lodge-targeted-prostitution-drug-activity (2017)
- https://www.lohud.com/nyack-motel-settlement-10-k-allowing-prostitution-drugs (2018)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: