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Daphne is a city of approximately 29,000 residents located in Baldwin County, AL, along the eastern shore of the Mobile Bay. Incidents of prostitution and prostitution-related violence, specifically in and around the city’s hotels and motels, have been reported in the city for several years. For example, in 1992, the community drew significant media attention after a prostituted woman was “repeatedly raped and sodomized at gunpoint by four men in a Daphne motel after she accepted $150 to have sex with one of them.” The men were convicted of first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy charges; they would later be implicated in a similar attack in Mobile, AL.
To curtail prostitution activity in Daphne, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office has conducted at least one reverse sting targeting sex buyers. For example, in early 2008, the BCSO’s Baldwin County Drug Task Force arrested 20 sex buyers at a local motel after the men arranged to pay $100 for sex with a female undercover officer. In coordination with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, police departments from Daphne, Foley, and Gulf Shores were additionally conducting reverse stings on a local level. As a result of the multi-city collaboration, 57 sex buyers were arrested. According to media reports, the BCSO placed decoy advertisements for escort services in the Mobile Press-Register in the weeks leading up to the sting and arranged meetings with the men who responded. In the days following the sting, all of the arrestees’ names were released to the public. In addition, in the spring of 2021, Daphne PD arrested a man for sex buying after he allegedly offered a 17-year-old money in exchange to sexually abuse them. The sex buyer was charged with one count of prostitution.
In 2019, an investigation was conducted after officers received complaints of prostitution at a local massage parlor in Foley, AL. After the Foley Police Department executed the search warrant, the City of Foley revoked the massage parlor license and officers charged two employees with misdemeanor prostitution charges and the owner with a felony charge of promoting prostitution. Upon further investigation, officers discovered that the owner had an additional parlor in Daphne, in which officers executed a search warrant on the same day. The owner was charged with an additional felony charge of promoting prostitution and an employee was charged with a misdemeanor charge of prostitution. Identities, images, ages, locations, and charges of arrested offenders were included in local news reports.
Not all arrests of sex buyers have been the product of proactive reverse stings using police decoys; some have been the result of investigations about allegations of offenses against real victims. For example, in May 2021, the Daphne Police Department arrested a 48-year-old man on a prostitution charge after investigating allegations that the man offered a 17-year-old cash in exchange for access to sexually abuse the minor. The man’s identity was included in news reports.
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Baldwin Sex Sting Nets 75 Arrests”, Mobile Press-Register, February 5 2008.
- “Sex Sting Produces 75 Arrests; Baldwin Sex Sting Nets 75 Arrests, Hotels Targeted”, Mobile Press-Register, February 5 2008.
- “Candidate Busted in Prostitution Sting Will Not Run”, CBS/WKRG-TV 5, April 4 2008.
- “Former Congressional Candidate Pleads Guilty”, CBS/WKRG-TV 5, April 10 2008.
- Massage parlor owner arrested on two felony charges of promoting prostitution for businesses in Foley and Daphne (2019)
Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.fox10tv.com/news/baldwin_county/daphne-pd-man-arrested-after-offering-cash-for-sex-with-teen (2021)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Rape or Sex for Pay? Baldwin Jury Must Rule; Defendants Charges Result of Money Dispute”, Mobile Press-Register, December 8 1992.
- “Trial Opens: Woman Says Was Raped at Gunpoint; Former Escort Agency Employee Says She Agreed to Have Sex with Only One of the Four Men on Trial”, Mobile Press-Register, December 9 1992.
- “Three Men Convicted of Raping Prostitute; Mobile Charges Possible in Three Similar Attacks”, Mobile Press-Register, December 11 1992.
- “Man Meets Bond in Prostitution Rape Case; On Thursday, Presiding Circuit Judge Charles Partin Denied a Motion to Increase Bond”, Mobile Press-Register, December 18 1992.
- “Man Convicted in Gang Rape Admits Role in Another Attack; Baldwin Judge Hands Down Sentences for Assault on Prostitute”, Mobile Press-Register, January 28 1993.
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