|IT Based Tactics
Franklin is a city in Johnson County, Indiana, with a population of approximately was 25,000. It is located about 20 miles south of Indianapolis, the city is the county seat of Johnson County. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, particularly in local hotels and massage parlors. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. Demand reduction tactics used in the city include reverse stings and the public disclosure of sex buyer identities. For example, in October 2015, an undercover operation by the Franklin Police Department vice and narcotics units and flex team officers charged four men with patronizing prostitution. Detectives worked with a police informant and used the Internet to advertise sex for cash at a Franklin hotel. Two of the men were from Williamson County with one other from Davidson County and the other from New Mexico. Each of the suspects charged in the case went to the informant’s hotel room where they paid her, when she agreed to perform sex acts in exchange for their money, they were arrested. Officers at the time said they would continue these types of operations, arresting prostituted persons, those working with them, and those patronizing their services. In 2016, four men were arrested in a Franklin reverse prostitution sting after unknowingly arrange meet-ups online with undercover officers, and were charged with Patronizing Prostitution. Their identities were included in news reports.
In November 2022, a convicted child molester from southern Indiana was arrested after sending explicit messages to what he thought was a 14-year-old girl. A Johnson County Sheriff’s Office detective was posing as the girl, according to court papers. The detective was on Kik, a messaging app, when the detective got a message from the suspect. The suspect was arrested on one count of child solicitation, one count of dissemination of harmful matter to a minor, and one count of “patronizing a prostitute.” The man had been previously convicted of child molesting on two different occasions.
- Franklin Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.williamsonhomepage.com/police-arrest-four-men-in-prostitution-sting-in-franklin (2015)
- https://www.newschannel5.com/4-charged-in-franklin-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://www.wishtv.com/detective-poses-as-14-year-old-girl-catches-convicted-child-molester (2022)
- https://dailyjournal.net/ripley-county-man-arrested-in-franklin-child-solicitation-sting-operation (2022)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: