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Greensburg is a city of roughly 11,000 residents, located in south-central Indiana’s Decatur County. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county, and has generated community complaints to police as well as related crimes. For example, in September, 2012, Greensburg Police Department (GPD) officers shut down a local massage parlor and arrested its owner and four others on charges related to prostitution in September 2012. In August, 2014, the GPD served a search warrant on a different massage therapy business and arrested multiple suspects on charges related to prostitution. One woman faced three counts of Promoting Prostitution (Class C Felony), four counts of Prostitution (Class A Misdemeanor) and one count of Corrupt Business Influence (Class C Felony). The GPD press release states that the arrests resulted from a three-month investigation involving multiple departments, including the GPD, the Decatur County Prosecutor’s Office, The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Human Trafficking/Vice Unit (IMPD) and the Indiana State Police. In June, 2017, a Greensburg woman was arrested on multiple charges in connection with a series of crimes. The Greensburg Police Department investigation started on North Patriot Drive, where a woman was trying to get inside a home, trying different keys to see if they fit in the door lock. A man who encountered her took down the license plate of the car she was driving. Police contacted the owner of the car, who realized it was missing from its parking spot and wanted to report it stolen. Police also came across a black car parked in the other vehicle’s parking space; the woman had been pulled over earlier in the week while driving the black car, which had also been reported stolen. A few hours later, police received a report from an AutoZone store that a woman was spotted rummaging through vehicles in the parking lot. An employee confronted her after she went through his car, and she threatened him with a knife. The man then took pictures of her in the stolen car, and she subsequently offered to perform a sex act in exchange for money, according to court documents. Police eventually found the woman riding a stolen lawn mower down Lincoln Street, and she was arrested and taken to the Decatur County Jail. Charges against her include attempted robbery, intimidation, prostitution, auto theft, attempted auto theft, attempted residential entry and conversion. All but the prostitution count were felony charges.
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. Local law enforcement agencies have launched investigations targeting individuals attempting to purchase sex. For example, in the August, 2014 case mentioned above the investigation of the massage parlor investigation resulted in the arrest of four male sex buyers, all of whom had their identities included in news reports. In fall 2015, a local resident contacted the Greensburg Police Department to notify them that an adult male contacted her 17-year-old son on Facebook and had solicited him for commercial sex acts. The mother then worked with GPD officers, who initiated a sting using undercover officers, to “pose” as the minor victim. The offender was arrested after offering the decoy $200 for a sex act, and arranging to meet what he thought was the boy (but was, in fact, a team of GPD officers) at a local hotel. The man was charged with “promotion of human trafficking of a minor, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 16 years in prison,” according to the Greensburg Daily News. His identity was publicized in press.
- Greensburg Police Department
- Local residents
Sex Buyer Arrests, Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Police Blotter,” Greensburg Daily News, October 30 2015.
- “Police: Man Arrested after Offering Cash for Sex Act with Teen,” Greensburg Daily News, October 31 2015.
- “Mother Helps Catch Alleged Predator by Posing as Her Son on Facebook,” FOX/KDVR-TV 31, November 4 2015.
Background on Local Prostitution, Related Crime:
- https://www.cnhinews.com/news/massage parlor investigation (2012)
- “Massage Parlor Closed amid Prostitution Arrests,” Greensburg Daily News, August 14 2014.
- https://fox59.com/greensburg-woman-stole-car-and-lawn-mower-offered-sex-act-for-money/ (2017)
- https://cbs4indy.com/greensburg-woman-stole-lawn-mower-and-car-offered-sex-act-in-exchange-for-cash/ (2017)