Great Falls, MT

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Great Falls is a city of approximately 59,000 residents, located in west-central Montana’s Cascade County.  Cases of rape committed against those providing prostitution span decades in the city, and child sex trafficking activity has also seen documented locally.

In late July 2014, officers with the Great Falls Police Department and Internet Crimes against Children Task Force conducted a web-based sting targeting attempts to buy sex from minors. During the investigation, law enforcement posted decoy advertisements to a website known for commercial sex sales “soliciting people interested in sexually explicit conduct with a minor child.” At least three men responded to the listing, and arranged to meet undercover female officers posing as girls available for purchased sex at a nearby hotel. According to media reports, each man was arrested after allegedly agreeing to pay $150-200 for sex with children who they believed were 12- and 15-years old. Following their arrests, each of the men’s names, ages, and hometowns were released to the public. According to media reports, “under [Montana] state law, paying for a sex act or agreeing to pay for a sex act with a child when an offender is over 18 years of age carries a mandatory 25-year prison sentence, with an additional 75 years to be served in prison or on probation.”

In October, 2018 one of the three men arrested in 2015 for soliciting sex from a minor changed his plea to attempted prostitution. He was originally charged with sexual abuse of children and two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs. The decoy ad had listed the posters age as 19, but during a text conversation the responder was told the age of the “escort” was actually 15. They eventually decided to meet at a local hotel three days after the conversation first began, and the ICACTF met the man at the hotel and took him into custody.

In September 2020 a man was charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution following his arrest in Great Falls. According to reports, the man was under investigation by the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigation when messages were found on the   offender’s phone linking him to a 16-year-old girl with whom he was trying to solicit sex from. In addition to this victim, the perpetrator has also been linked to other children in the area with whom he has exchanged nude photos and had sex with. Upon his arrest, the name and age of the offender was released in addition to details pertaining to the case.

Key Partners

  • Great Falls Police Department
  • Internet Crimes against Children Task Force
  • Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
  • U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigation

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings and Shaming:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Montana
Type City
Population 59351
Location
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