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Clarksville is a city of approximately 135,000 residents, located along the Kentucky border in Montgomery County, Tennessee. Prostitution is a persistent and visible problem in some pockets of the city, particularly along New Providence Boulevard. At least two cases of domestic minor sex trafficking have been reported in the city and surrounding area.
Although it remains unclear when the Clarksville Police Department first incorporated the use of reverse stings into its anti-prostitution efforts, news reports suggest the department has targeted sex buyers since at least 2000. In May of that year, The Leaf Chronicle reported that the CPD “sent five undercover female officers to the streets of New Providence in the guise of prostituted women, netting 16 men arrested on charges of patronizing prostitution.” The solicitations allegedly occurred in the vicinity of a local elementary school. In February and May 2012, Clarksville Police again placed decoys along New Providence and arrested 12 male sex buyers in two operations. Following the arrests, the CPD released the mugshot, name, age, birthdate and address of each of the offenders.
In April 2014, officers conducted a web-based sting that resulted in the arrest of 26 men and women, including sex buyers. According to media reports, the CPD conducted the operation over a month’s period, wherein officers “placed an ad in the adult escort section [of Backpage.com], as well as responded to ads.” In the days that followed, the CPD released the name and mugshot of all of the individuals arrested during the sting.
In May 2017, CPD’s Special Operations Unit conducted an operation targeting sex buyers using Backpage.com. Police posted an ad online and the suspects who answered the ad negotiated various prices for the services and agreed to meet the the undercover officer at a designated location. Three men were arrested on prostitution charges.
In December 2018, the CPD’s Special Operations Unit arrested 11 people as part of a two-day sting targeting people that provide and solicit sexual services for money online. CPD detectives placed an advertisement on the website, skipthegames.com, and the individuals arrested all responded to the online ad, negotiated prices and agreed to meet an undercover officer at a specific location. In all, 10 men and one woman were arrested and charged with crimes. Officials said that suspects that engage in prostitution or solicit these services are often linked to other crimes, including robbery, assault, drug possession and human trafficking.
Loss of employment is a consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the city. For example, in March 2015, the Clarksville Police Department’s Special Operations Unit arrested eight men during a web-based prostitution sting. Vice and narcotics agents targeted prostitution listings on backpage.com. One of the men arrested had served for 27 seasons as the Austin Peay baseball coach, and he resigned that position following his arrest. University officials announced in August 2015 that they had accepted the man’s resignation. He had been booked on a charge of patronizing prostitution, and released on $250 bond.
- Clarksville Police Department
- Austin Peay University
Street-Level Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 16”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, March 7 2000.
- “Prostitution Lingers in Clarksville. Why?”, Clarksville Online, August 13 2008.
- “Clarksville Police Charge Seven Men with Patronizing Prostitution in New Providence”, Clarksville Online, February 25 2012.
- “Clarksville Police Go Undercover to End Prostitution”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, February 25 2012.
- “Seven Arrested in Clarksville Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WSMV-TV 4, February 25 2012.
- “Seven Netted in New Providence Prostitution Sting”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, February 26 2012.
- “Increased Policing Yields Seven Arrests in Undercover Prostitution Sting”, Business & Heritage Clarksville, February 27 2012.
- “Clarksville Police Release Update on Men Arrested for Patronizing Prostitution”, Clarksville Online, March 7 2012.
- “Undercover Prostitution Sting Arrestees Face Court Appearances”, Business & Heritage Clarksville, March 7 2012.
- “Clarksville Police Department Reports Six Nabbed in Prostitution Sting”, Clarksville Online, May 13 2012.
- “Prostitution Sting Lands Several Behind Bars”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, May 13 2012.
- “New Providence Area Prostitution Sting Nets Five Arrests”, Business & Heritage Clarksville, May 14 2012.
Web-Based Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “26 Arrested in Ongoing Prostitution Investigation”, ABC/WKRN-TV 2, April 7 2014.
- “26 Arrested in Ongoing Prostitution Investigation”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, April 7 2014.
- “Eight Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, March 23 2015.
- “8 Arrested for Soliciting Prostitution in Clarksville,” ABC/WKRN-TV 2, March 23 2015.
- “Human Trafficking Sting Nets Arrests in Clarksville,” Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, May 22 2015.
- http://clarksvillenow.com/local/3-men-busted-in-prostitution-sting-edit/ (2017)
- https://www.wsmv.com/news/arrested-in-clarksville-prostitution-sting (2018)
- https://www.wsmv.com/clarksville-prostitution-sting (2018)
- https://www.wkrn.com/news/prostitution-sting-nets-11-arrests-for-clarksville-police (2018)
- https://fox17.com/news/local/clarksville-police-skip-the-games-in-prostitution-sting-make-11-arrests (2018)
- https://clarksvillenow.com/local/police-arrest-11-in-clarksville-prostitution-bust/ (2018)
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “In Federal Custody on Morals Charge”, Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era, July 16 1953.
- “26-Year-Old Woman Accused of Sex Trafficking Relative”, NBC/WSMV-TV 4, March 13 2013.
- “Kentucky Woman Charged with Sex Trafficking of Juvenile”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, March 13 2013.
- “Hopkinsville Woman Indicted on Human Trafficking Charges”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, June 18 2013.
- “Woman Indicted for Human Trafficking and Prostitution”, Clarksville Now, June 18 2013.
- “Man Charged with Promoting Prostitution, Human Trafficking in Clarksville”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, February 2 2014.
- “Police Tracking Online Escort Ads in Clarksville Prostitution Crackdown”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, May 4 2014.
- “Woman Charged in Clarksville Human Sex Trafficking Case Pleads Guilty,” Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, February 25 2015.
- “Lexington, Kentucky Woman and Clarksville, Tennessee Man Charged with Sex Trafficking of Louisville, Kentucky Minor,” Press Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky, September 2 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Mayfield Man Sentenced on White Slavery Charge”, Hopkinsville Kentucky New Era, May 29 1953.
- “Tea Room Owner Arrested for Promoting Prostitution”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, December 13 2007.
- “Tearoom Owner Faces Prostitution Charge”, Nashville Tennessean, December 14 2007.
- “School Employee Arrested with Prostitute”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, May 9 2009.
- “Clarksville Police Offer Help Over Handcuffs”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, April 5 2012.
- “Clarksville Police Arrest Two for Online Prostitution”, Clarksville Online, June 22 2012.
- “Clarksville Police Arrest Three for Prostitution”, Clarksville Online, May 30 2013.
- “2 Arrested for Prostitution at Clarksville Spa”, ABC/WKRN-TV 2, February 7 2014.
- “3 Arrested in Clarksville Prostitution Sting”, ABC/WKRN-TV 2, March 22 2014.
- “Four Arrested for Prostitution in Clarksville,” Clarksville Now, December 18 2015.
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Man Charged with Assaulting, Robbing Prostitutes”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, September 17 2010.
- “Man Charged After Investigation of ‘Lady of the Night’ Robberies”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, September 18 2010.
- “Man Accused of Raping Prostitute at Gunpoint”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, September 27 2010.
- “COURT ROUNDUP: Man Not Guilty in Prostitute Rape Case”, Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, August 19 2011.
- “Police Say Escort From Backpage.com Robbed Man”, CBS/WTVF-TV 5, September 22 2011.
- “Man Accused of Robbing Prostitute, Filing False Report,” Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, June 10 2015.