Florence County, SC
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Florence County, South Carolina has a population of about 140,000 and its county seat is Florence. Florence County is included in the Florence, SC Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well documented problems in the county. For example, in February, 2012, four people were arrested at an interstate motel in a Florence County Sheriff’s Office prostitution sting. The sting was prompted by citizens’ complaints, according to a release issued by the Florence County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies conducted their sting at an area motel at the US 52/Interstate 95 interchange, but did not identify the motel. In October, 2019, a Florence man was charged with promoting the prostitution of a minor, kidnapping, three counts of trafficking in persons, three counts of criminal sexual conduct, first degree, and criminal sexual with a minor, second degree. Investigators said the man committed the offense in Florence county by “recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, or soliciting by any means a victim who is under the age of 18 for the purpose of sex trafficking.”
Child neglect is among the many problems associated with the local prostitution market. For example, in June, 2016, police arrested for solicitation of prostitution was also charged with child neglect after she brought an infant to the motel to meet who she thought was a paying customer. Officers arrested the 20-year-old woman after an undercover officer responded to her online ad soliciting sexual services. Officers met her at a Florence motel and subsequently arrested her on the solicitation charge. During her arrest, she mentioned a baby who was still in the room. When officers returned to the motel room, they found the infant on the bed. The woman was charged with solicitation of prostitution and unlawful neglect of a child. She was booked into the Florence County Detention Center and two days later was released on $3,500 bond.
In July 2017, Florence County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested nine people on prostitution related charges during an undercover operation in the area of U.S. 52 and I-95 in Florence County. For men were arrested and charged with solicitation of prostitution, and their identities were published. In November 2017, five men were arrested for solicitation of prostitution in Florence County during another reverse sting.
- Florence County Sheriff’s Office
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Shaming:
- http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/32210857/6-arrested-in-prostitution-sting-in-florence-co (2016)
- http://www.wbtw.com/news/9-arrested-in-undercover-prostitution-bust-in-florence-county (2017)
- http://www.wmbfnews.com/9-arrested-in-undercover-prostitution-sting-in-florence-county (2017)
- http://www.wbtv.com/five-nabbed-for-solicitation-of-prostitution-in-florence-county-friday-night (2017)
Background on Local Prostitution, Sex Trafficking, Related Child Neglect:
- https://scnow.com/news/local/four-arrested-in-florence-county-prostitution-sting (2012)
- https://scnow.com/news/local/florence-police-crack-down-on-prostitution/ (2013)
- https://www.kron4.com/news/infant-found-in-motel-after-woman-arrested-for-prostitution (2016)
- https://www.counton2.com/man-accused-of-trafficking-minors-in-sc-authorities-searching-for-more-victims/ (2019)
- https://wpde.com/news/local/deputies-continue-crack-down-on-drugs-prostitution-on-hwy-52-in-florence (2021)
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