Fort Wayne is a city of approximately 255,000 residents, located in Allen County, Indiana, about 30 miles from the Ohio border. Reverse stings have been utilized here as a means to catch johns since 1991. In one of these early stings in 1991, 28 johns were arrested and each held on a $750 bond. In a later case in 2007, eight more johns were arrested and charged with solicitation. The police department conducts these types of stings on an ongoing basis throughout the year. When a john is arrested, if he is in a car, the police take an inventory of the contents of his vehicle and then tow the car. The john must pay towing and storage fees to get his vehicle back in addition to any fines the court may assess. Web stings, such as one in 2012 where seven men were arrested, are another tactic Fort Wayne police use to catch johns. Tips from the community are another tool police use to help them fight sex trafficking in the area.
In December, 2018 police conducted a web-based reverse sting that resulted in the arrest of three sex buyers. Detectives posted decoy ads on a website with other posts soliciting sex. In less than two hours, a man was on his way to meet the undercover female officer for sex. By the end of the 7-hour sting, 12 different men talked to or texted the detectives, three of which showed up at the motel to buy sex. All three men faced a single Patronizing a Prostitute charge, a Class A misdemeanor, and their identities were included in news releases.
- Fort Wayne Police Department
- Vice and Narcotics Division
- Local area motels
- Community residents
- Reverse Stings:
- “28 Charged in Prostitution Sting”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, May 18 1991.
- “Police to Lean on Fulton Street Soliciting”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, August 2 1991.
- “Neighbors, Police Like Crackdown Results; This Year, 47 Men Have Been Arrested for Patronizing”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, July 19 1995.
- “15 Johns Arrested”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, September 15 1995.
- “Nine Plead Guilty to Solicitation; They Had to Pay Costs and Must Get Counseling”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, September 20 1995.
- “City Man Pleads Guilty in Sting He Was Arrested for Patronizing a Prostitute”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, September 22 1995.
- “Teacher Gets Diversion for Patronizing; Prostitution-Related Charges May Be Dropped”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, October 31 1995.
- “City Man Guilty in Johns Sting”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, February 6 1996.
- “Man Admits to Soliciting Prostitute”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, February 15 1996.
- “Three Men Receive Sentences After Police Prostitution Sting”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, June 17 1997.
- “Street-Smart Detective Sends the Johns to Jail”, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, December 2 2007.
- “Five Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Richmond Palladium-Item, August 6 2008.
- “FWPD: Several Arrests in Prostitution Sting”, CBS/WANE-TV 15, July 3 2013.
- Web Stings:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Wisconsin Woman Charged with Promoting Teen Prostitution in Fort Wayne”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, April 5 2012.
- “Woman Tells Fort Wayne Police that Man Wanted Her to Prostitute Herself”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, January 3 2014.
- “Breaking the Cycle of Child Prostitution in Fort Wayne”, CBS/WANE-TV 15, June 24 2014.
- “Milwaukee Pimp Gets 20 Years for Trafficking 2 Girls,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 17 2015.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Fort Wayne Police Make Fifth Prostitution Arrest”, Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, September 11 2010.
- “Another Prostitution Arrest at a Fort Wayne Massage Parlor”, NBC/WISE-TV 33, April 7 2011.
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: