Elizabethton, TN

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

Elizabethton is a city of under 14,000 residents, located at the foot of the southern Appalachians in northeastern Tennessee. It is the county seat of Carter County. Prostitution has been documented in the area, including local men being arrested in prostitution stings in nearby towns. For example, in 2011 the Elizabethton mayor was caught soliciting prostitution at a Johnson City motel. The local homicide of prostituted women has also occurred, including a potential serial killer who targeted prostituted women in the region in the 1980s, including a victim in Elizabethton.

Sex buyer arrests and identity disclosure are consequences of sex buying that have occurred in the city. For example, in January, 2007, the Carter County Grand Jury icharged a man with one count of solicitation of a minor in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-528. In July of 2007, the man pled guilty to the charge. The man testified that he was driving on Charlotte Drive in Elizabethton, Tennessee near Elizabethton High School, when he saw a person walking down the street. He slowed down and asked the person if he wanted to exchange sex for one hundred dollars. The propositioned person was in fact under eighteen years of age. The identity of the sex buyer was publicly disclosed.

In April 2017, two men were arrested following an investigation conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) after they received information from the Knoxville Police Department regarding possible sex trafficking of underage girls. TBI Special Agents, with assistance from the Elizabethton Police Department, 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and Department of Homeland Security, discovered the alleged trafficking occurred at a motel along U.S. Highway 19E in Elizabethton. One man paid a 14-year-old girl $60 and the other paid a 17-year-old $200 for sexual abuse. The two sex buyers were arrested and charged with aggravated statutory rape, solicitation of a minor, and “patronizing prostitution of a minor” (i.e., sex trafficking). Their identities were released to the press.

Key Partners

  • Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI)
  • Elizabethton Police Department
  • 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Knoxville Police Department

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area

State Tennessee
Type City
Population 14015
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