Groton is a town in New London County, Connecticut. It has approximately 39,000 residents, and is located roughly halfway between New Haven CT and Providence, RI, abutting the Thames River and the Atlantic coast. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of New London County. For example, in May 2013, a Groton man was sentenced to more than six years in federal prison for arranging the prostitution of a 16-year-old girl. The man and his former wife posted Internet ads, took calls from prospective customers, booked hotel rooms and transported the girl to and from prostitution calls in southeastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire. The couple split the proceeds and gave none of the money to the victim. In March 2017, a prostituted woman pleaded guilty to her role in a minor’s fatal overdose in a motel room in Groton. The woman was conspiring to traffic the 17-year-old female victim for sex when the teenager suffered a fatal drug overdose. She provided heroin to the teenager, and then waited four hours to call 911 after finding her unresponsive with vomit coming from her mouth.
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. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Groton Police Department and FBI have conducted reverse stings. For example, in April 2019 police arrested four people on prostitution-related charges at a local motel. The operation was an effort to locate and identify victims of child exploitation and trafficking. Two men were charged with patronizing a prostitute, and their identities included in press releases.
- Groton Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Shaming:
- https://patch.com/connecticut/groton/4-charged-groton-prostitution-case (2019)
- https://www.thewesterlysun.com/westerly-man-others-facing-charges-after-prostitution-sting-at-groton (2019)
- https://www.theday.com/article/20190421/NWS04/190429912 (2019)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.latimes.com/hc-xpm-2013-08-01-hc-groton-sex-trafficking-0802-20130801-story.html (2013)
- https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/3-Women-Accused-of-Prostitution-at-Groton-Hotels (2014)
- https://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-groton-prostitution-arrests (2015)
- https://www.norwichbulletin.com/article/20150930/NEWS/150939981 (2015)
- https://fox61.com/3-arrested-in-groton-following-nationwide-sex-trafficking-sting-operation/ (2017)