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Dearborn is a city of about 108,000 residents located in Wayne County, Michigan and is within the Detroit metropolitan area. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Wayne County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. For example, a Dearborn massage parlor was the subject of complaints for prostitution, and was investigated and then shut down in December 2013. In September 2018, police investigated an alleged prostitution operation at a massage parlor and made several arrests. Dearborn Police described the investigation into the massage parlor as very complex, with the owner eventually charged with operating a prostitution house, a 5-year felony, and accepting earnings from a prostitute, a 20-year felony. A judge ordered the spa’s owner be held on a $200,000 bond. Local and federal law enforcement had investigated reports of prostitution at the business periodically for more than a year prior to the 2018 arrests.
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 May 2019, a 39-year-old Dearborn Heights resident was charged with two counts of prostitution and engaging the services of a minor, a 16-year-old student at a Dearborn High School. Cell phone conversations obtained by police confirmed the cash deals made, and revealed that the pimp knew of the victim’s age.
In Michigan, most prostitution and solicitation cases are brought under the local ordinance of the municipality in which they occur. Misdemeanor charges for first time offenders can include a prison term up to 93 days and/or a fine of up to $500. Three or more offenses constitute a felony which can result in a prison term up to two years and/or a fine of $2,000. A prostitution or solicitation conviction results in mandatory testing for sexually transmitted diseases and may result in the forfeiture of vehicles used in the commission of the crime. Additionally, courts may require convicted persons to register as a sex offender under the Michigan Sex Offender Registration Act.
- Dearborn Police Department
- Wayne County Circuit Court
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.arabamericannews.com/dearborn-police-bust-local-prostitution-ring-that-included-minor (2019)
- http://www.garmokiste.com/legal-services/solicitation-of-prostitute/dearborn-michigan-criminal-defense-lawyer (2019)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://patch.com/michigan/dearborn/massage-parlor-locked-down-under-suspicion-of-prostitution-human-trafficking_dearborn (2013)
- http://www.pressandguide.com/news/officers-arrest-teen-on-prostitution-charge-at-west-end-motel (2013)
- https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/nation-world-news/metro-detroit-child-sex-trafficking-sting-frees-victims-nabs-pimps (2015)
- https://patch.com/michigan/dearborn/highpriced-prostitute-arrested-in-heroin-overdose-of-google-exec-from-dearborn (2014)
- https://www.freep.com/detroit-hooker-sting-lawsuit (2016)
- https://www.detroitnews.com/wayne-county/Dearborn-spa-owner-busted-prostitution (2018)
- https://www.wxyz.com/news/dearborn-spa-owner-charged-with-running-prostitution-house (2018)