Fort Wayne, IN

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

Fort Wayne is a city of approximately 267,000 residents, located in Allen County, Indiana, about 30 miles from the Ohio border. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems in the city, spanning decades. Reverse stings have been utilized in the city as a means to apprehend sex buyers since 1991. In one of stings in 1991, 28 male sex buyers were arrested and each was held on a $750 bond. In a later case in 2007, eight more sex buyers were arrested and charged with solicitation. The police department has conducted these types of reverse stings on an ongoing basis throughout the year. When a buyer 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 suspect must pay towing and storage fees to get his vehicle back in addition to any fines the court may assess. Web-based reverse stings, such as one in 2012 where seven men were arrested, are another tactic Fort Wayne police have used to catch sex buyers. 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 prostitution. 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 whom 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.

Key Partners

  • Fort Wayne Police Department
    • Vice and Narcotics Division
  • Local area motels
  • Community residents

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Web Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

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.
  • (2017)

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Indiana
Type City
Population 265974
Comments are closed.