Clarksville, 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

Clarksville is a town located along the Ohio River, in Clark County, Indiana. The community has approximately 22,000 residents and is located within the Louisville, KY metropolitan area. Clarksville has well-documented problems with prostitution and a wide range of related crimes. 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. A local tattoo parlor in 2015 had four prostitution related arrests, after employees advertised massages and body rubs that implied the sale of sex. The business itself was targeted by local police following multiple complaints from citizens in the area. Similarly, a massage parlor located in New Albany, Indiana had two employees arrested on prostitution related charges. In 2018, 21 victims were rescued following a large scale operation in the area. The sting also lead to the arrest of five individuals who faced drug and human trafficking related charges. According to reports, hotels throughout Clark County took part in the sting. Unlike in previous cases, the names of the offenders were not released to the public. Violence against prostituted women has also been documented within the county. In Jeffersonville, an individual was jailed in 2017 after raping a prostituting woman he met through the personal ads section on a website. In her statement, the Clark County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney noted that “This is a particularly heinous, violent crime.”  In his statement to police, the offender rationalized his crimes, claiming that he could do what he wanted since he assumed that due to their profession, his victims would not report him. In response to this case, the Clarksville Police Department made a statement addressed to the public, stating that victims of any profession should not feel fear in stepping up and reporting their offenders.

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. For example, in November, 2012, two individuals were arrested at a local adult oriented business on charges of “patronizing a prostitute.” The sting was designed by police after receiving complaints of illegal behavior taking place at the “adult superstore.” Clarksville Police said one female and two male officers worked undercover to conduct the operation. While the female officer was in the business, she was approached several times for sex by men who wanted to have intercourse in the business. It was more beneficial for the investigation to find suspects who were willing to go to another location on the pretense of patronizing a prostituted person. The female officer and one of the male officers, who was acting as her boyfriend, went to the exterior of the property to find people willing to travel to a different location for paid sex. The undercover officers found two men who agreed to travel to nearby motel on U.S. 31. Two men were each charged with “patronizing a prostitute” and their identities were disclosed in news reports.

Key Partners

  • Clarksville Police Department
  • Clark County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • Clark County jail
State Indiana
Type City
Population 21825
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