Eatonton, GA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Eatonton is a city of less than 10,000 residents, located in north-central Georgia’s Putnam County.

In January 2015, local media outlets reported the arrests of 11 men and one 14-year-old girl on prostitution charges in the community. According to reports, in November 2014, an Eatonton Police Department officer on patrol came upon the 14-year-old girl and a 27-year-old man in a car within the city’s limits. After the girl was “remanded to officials with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice” and the adult john was arrested, Eatonton Police launched an investigation in partnership with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, wherein they reviewed texts and other phone correspondence between the young girl and several men. After reviewing these materials, they “concluded that the teen was not working for a pimp or any other person” but had “offered sexual favors to various men for money.” Using this evidence, law enforcement agencies were able to arrest 11 men from seven different counties. The majority were charged with child molestation, child enticement, and/or statutory rape. All of the men’s names, ages, hometowns and arrest photos were released to the public.

In early February 2015, the Putnam County District Attorney’s Office agreed to dismiss the prostitution charge initially leveled against the 14-year-old girl– on the condition that she complete a treatment and counseling program– because she was “a victim of the crime herself” and had been sexually exploited by men who purchased sex from her. The DA also reported that it had requested the assistance of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office’s Human Trafficking Unit to help prosecute the johns’ cases.

Key Partners

  • Eatonville Police Department
  • Georgia Bureau of Investigation
  • Human Trafficking Unit of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office
State Georgia
Type City
Population 6764
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