Franklin County is located in northern Kentucky. Its county seat is Frankfort, the state capital. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems within the county since the 1980s. A recent case involved state legislators and police officers allegedly involved in a prostitution ring in Franklin County. Among the tactics used to address these crimes are reverse stings. For example, in January 2018 four men were charged for allegedly traveling to Frankfort to have sex with a minor after making arrangements online, according to an announcement by the attorney general. “Operation Shielded Child” was a web based reverse sting focused on finding those who solicit minors for sex online and possess or distribute child pornography. The Cyber Crimes Unit led the sting. The names and photos of the arrestees were publicly disclosed.
In May, 2019, four men were arrested in a two-day undercover “Operation Shielded Child” predator sting in Franklin County. The Cyber Crimes Unit conducted the operation in as part of its mission to arrest those who seek sex with children online and produce, possess or distribute child pornography. AG cyber investigators made the arrests with the assistance of the Frankfort Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin County Jail, Lexington Police Department and Louisville Metro Police Department.
- Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
- Frankfort Police Department
- Cyber Crimes Unit
- Attorney General’s Office
- Lexington Police Department
- Louisville Metro Police Department
Web Based Reverse Stings:
- “4 men accused of traveling to Frankfort to have sex with minor in online sting.” Kentucky.com, January, 2018
- https://www.state-journal.com/2019/05/19/ag-4-men-caught-in-frankfort-child-predator-sting/ (2019)
- https://www.wdrb.com/news/arrested-in-franklin-county-child-predator-sting (2019)
- https://www.wlky.com/article/multiple-men-arrested-in-frankfort-child-predator-sting (2019)
- “Pastor in Frankfort Accused of Soliciting 2 for Prostitution,” Lexington Herald-Leader, August 12 1988.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Ex-Legislative Employee Is Sentenced to Probation,” Park City Daily News, August 18 1998.
- “Former Franklin Co. Constable Accused in Prostitution Ring,” CBS/WKYT-TV 36, May 3 2016.
- “Former Franklin Co. Constable Answers to Prostitution Charges,” CBS/WKYT-TV 36, May 6 2016.
- “Franklin County Judge Will Not Seal Records in Prostitution Case,” CBS/WKYT-TV 36, May 23 2016.
- “Names Redacted in Banta Discovery,” Frankfort State Journal, May 24 2016.
- “Prostitution Ring Allegedly Served Kentucky Lawmakers and Police; No Names of Clients Mentioned in Court Records,” Lexington Herald-Leader, May 25 2016.
- “Lawmakers, Police Officers Alleged Clients in Frankfort Prostitution Ring,” CBS/WKYT-TV 36, May 27 2016.
- “City Quiet among Discovery Claims,” Frankfort State Journal, June 17 2016.