Eden, NC

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

Eden is a small city of roughly 15,000 residents, located in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Prostitution, statutory rape, and other crimes arising from the sex trade are known to occur in the area. 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. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities.

In the Fall of 2015, the community drew significant attention when media reported the indictments of five adult residents for alleged commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Eden Police Department officers launched an investigation after receiving a tip that adult men had purchased sex acts from two mentally disabled teenage girls who were being prostituted by a relative. Media outlets reported that the activities had taken place at a local barber shop. Upon their indictment, all of the offenders’ identities were released to the public. Although the victims were taken into protective custody and did not have their names disclosed, some media outlets unfortunately chose to release the name of the relative arrested for compelling them to commit prostitution acts, potentially compromising their anonymity. In March 2016, media outlets reported that one of the men arrested had “pleaded guilty to 6 counts patronizing a prostitute with severe or profound mental disabilities and 6 counts indecent liberties with a minor,” and had been sentenced to 80-156 months in prison, and a second had pleaded guilty to 12 counts of statutory sex offense and 12 counts of “patronizing a prostitute” with severe or profound mental disabilities, and was sentenced to 194-293 months in prison. The woman who had been selling her mentally-handicapped daughters out for sex acts was sentenced to minimum of 20 years in jail, with 24 counts of promoting prostitution of a person with severe, profound mental disabilities and 24 counts of felony child abuse. According to local news, the woman admitted that she had “engaged in sex acts with men to earn money for her late husband’s illness and for her crack cocaine addiction. In court documents, [she] admitted to sometimes bringing her 13 and 15-year-old daughters along to partake in the sex acts with older men. Payment would range from $5 to $20.”

In May 2022, a former school board member and pastor from Eden was arrested on charges of second-degree rape. No details were provided to the public, and the investigation was ongoing at the time.

In October, 2022, an Eden man was arrested after an undercover operation at the Klyce Street Landing park on the Dan River. The man was charged with:

  • first-degree statutory sexual offense
  • two counts of indecent liberties with a child
  • one felony count of maintaining a vehicle for the sale of a controlled substance
  • one felony count of sell/deliver a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a park
  • one felony count of PWISD a schedule IV controlled substance
  • one misdemeanor count of soliciting prostitution
  • one misdemeanor count of engaging in prostitution
  • one misdemeanor count of maintaining a vehicle for prostitution

In December, 2022 it was announced that the sex buyer arrested in October allegedly tried from jail to hire a hit man to kill a witness to his crimes. The man had been in the Rockingham County Detention Facility since Oct. 22, and in December faced an additional felony charge of solicitation of murder, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.  Sheriff’s investigators on Nov. 28 learned that the man “attempted to solicit the murder of a witness in one of his pending court cases” while in the county jail, the release said. Authorities did not disclose the name of the man’s target.

Key Partners

  • Eden Police Department
  • North Carolina Department of Social Services

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State North Carolina
Type City
Population 15527
Comments are closed.