Dutchess County, NY

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

Dutchess County is a county of approximately 297,000 residents, located in southeastern New York about 85 miles north of New York City and 75 miles south of Albany. Its county seat is in Poughkeepsie. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the county and surrounding areas. This activity and the ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking. For example, in November 2012, several arrests were made after a nine month investigation into the sex trafficking of a minor throughout New York, including in the village of Fishkill. A serial killer of prostituted women has drawn national attention both to the presence of prostitution in Poughkeepsie and to the dangers posed to those engaged in commercial sex.

In January 2015, New York State Police, Village of Fishkill Police, and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office teamed up and charged six women with promoting prostitution in the Village of Fishkill. All were allegedly advertising on Backpage.com and offering sex in exchange for money. All six women were charged with fourth-degree promoting prostitution; one also had an active bench warrant for her arrest and was subsequently turned over to the Wallkill Police Department. In 2017, State Police arrested a 26-year-old Fishkill woman on child endangerment charges. Troopers responded to the report of a three-year-old child found unattended in a hotel parking lot, and the mother was found an hour later in a different hotel. The child was released to other family members.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. For example, in July 2018, New York State Police from the Wappinger barracks in conjunction with the Troop K Computer Crimes Unit, which includes Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, and Westchester counties, arrested a man for “patronizing a prostitute” in the 3rd degree, a class A misdemeanor.

Key Partners

  • Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
  • Village of Fishkill Police
  • New York State Police
  • Troop K Computer Crimes Unit

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State New York
Type County
Population 297112
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