Clayton County, GA

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

Clayton County, located south of Atlanta, has a population of about 297,000. Problems with prostitution and sex trafficking have been reported in the county for at least two decades. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. For example, in March, 2023, the state Attorney General announced that a Clayton County man was sentenced to 70 years in prison for trafficking a 15-year-old female for sexual abuse. The defendant was also required to register as a sex offender. On March 3, 2023, the man was found guilty by a Clayton County Jury on four counts of Trafficking of Persons for Sexual Servitude and one count of Cruelty to Children in the First Degree. The victim was present in court at sentencing and provided a victim impact statement.

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.  In addition to city-level efforts to combat prostitution in the communities of Jonesboro and Forest Park, the Clayton County Police Department also conducts periodic reverse stings along major boulevards and highways in the county. They have done so since at least 2006 and, at times, collaborate with officers from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office. In one such reverse sting in 2009, 18 men were arrested. A second sting in 2012 netted 20 sex buyers for solicitation, including a Clayton County Deputy.

In 2015, a reported “multi-phase and multi-level operation” staged in multiple locations within the county intercepted 12 men on “pandering and solicitation of sex for money” charges. Ten women were also arrested during the investigation for offering acts of prostitution. Only the identity of one arrestees– a law enforcement official from nearby Fulton County— was disclosed to the public. Additional details about the stings, including whether or not they utilized web-based advertisements and/or street-level decoys, were also kept out of the media.

In June 2016, an undercover operation in Clayton County led to the arrest of 22 people on varying charges as multiple agencies teamed up to combat prostitution. The police department, sheriff’s office, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security worked together in the operation, which targeted crimes such as prostitution, pandering, and solicitation in various areas of Clayton County.

In June, 2022, a man was arrested later indicted for attempting to buy the child for sexual abuse in Clayton County. In February, 2023, he pled guilty and was sentenced to 15 years, with the first five years to be served in prison. The remaining 10 years will be served on probation. He is also required to register as a sex offender. The man’s crimes were discovered during an investigation of the sex trafficking of child out of two hotel rooms in Clayton County. The other offenders were convicted of trafficking persons for sexual servitude, and statutory rape.

In March, 2023, a sex buyer called police to complain that he had paid a woman for sex, but that she “disappeared” before they that occurred. Clayton County police responded to the 6300 block of Old Dixie Road, in Jonesboro, after the man called them. During the responding officer’s investigation, the woman in question admitted to taking the $40 on the promise to engage in sex acts, and then reneging. Officers were able to review surveillance video and find the prostituted woman, and corroborate the man’s allegation of prostitution, and his participation as a buyer. The man’s identity was disclosed in news reports.

Key Partners

  • Clayton County Police Department
  • Clayton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Clayton County Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Georgia
Type County
Population 297100
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