Colonial Heights is a suburb of Richmond, Virginia with a population of about 18,000. Police believe that street prostitution is very rare in the city, but that there is a problem with indoor prostitution advertised online and local businesses are concerned with its detrimental effects. To deter local prostitution activity, police conducted a web-based reverse sting in April 2014. Ten men were arrested for soliciting prostitution in the Southpark area as a result of an ad placed online by police investigators. The arrests were made at businesses serving the Southpark area. Investigators found a number of online posts advertising prostitution in the area, and that those who place the ads often stay in a city for a short time before moving to another. Police also worked with local businesses in the city beyond the Southpark area to find offenders. The names, ages, and city of residence for the arrested sex buyers were released to the media. The Prince George County Police Department and the Colonial Heights Commonwealth Attorney’s office assisted the special operations unit of the Colonial Heights Police Department with the investigations.
- Colonial Heights Police Department
- Prince George County Police Department
- Colonial Heights Commonwealth Attorney’s Office
- Web-Based Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Colonial Heights Man Pleads Not Guilty in Underage Prostitution Case”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, April 18 2013.
- “Colonial Heights Man Pleads Guilty to Soliciting Sex from Minor”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 8 2013.
- “Colonial Heights Man Sentenced to 10 Years on Sex Charges”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 3 2013.
- “Opinion: Internet Enables Child Porn, Prostitution”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, August 18 2013.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Escort Service, Three People Indicted in Prostitution Case”, Tuscaloosa News, March 6 1998.
- “Woman Charged in Prostitution Case; Heights Resident Accused of Running Internet-Based Prostitution Operation”, Richmond Times-Dispatch, October 23 2008.