Hall County is located in central Nebraska, and has roughly 60,000 residents. Prostitution activity has been well-documented throughout the county. 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 are sex trafficking, child endangerment, and violence committed against people involved in these transactions.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies. For example, in March, 1999, police conducted a web-based reverse sting in which a suspect learned that he’d been corresponding with police by e-mail prior to a meeting at a Grand Island motel. Police arrested the 23-year-old man, and he was booked into jail on suspicion of misdemeanor prostitution. The motel contacted police after finding a business card for an Escort Service, and police used the email address to communicate with the suspect. Police corresponded about eight times before arranging a meeting at the motel. An undercover female officer assisted in the sting.
In June 2018, investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol Troop C and officers from the Grand Island Police Department conducted an undercover operation to target and identify individuals soliciting prostitution in the Grand Island area. Seven men were arrested and then held in Hall County Corrections, and charged with solicitation of prostitution. In Nebraska, soliciting prostitution is a first-offense misdemeanor and a felony thereafter. The identities of the arrested sex buyers were included in press releases, and included the board chairman of the Middle Republican Natural Resources District; a fifth-grade teacher for Loup City Public Schools; and an assistant coach for the Arcadia-Loup City football team. In July, 2018, two area men were arrested by investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol Troop C and officers from the Grand Island Police Department, who conducted an undercover operation to target and identify individuals soliciting prostitution in the Grand Island area. In June, 2019, a man was charged with labor/sex trafficking of a minor and soliciting prostitution, and he had one prior conviction. According to court documents, the alleged victim was younger than 18.
- Hall County Sheriff’s Department
- Grand Island Police Department
- Hall County District Court
- Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force
- Nebraska State Patrol Troop C
Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- http://www.1011now.com/content/news/Seven-arrested-for-solicitation-of-prostitution-in-Grand-Island (2018)
- http://kwbe.com/state-news/human-trafficking-task-force-arrests-seven-in-prostitution-sting/ (2018)
- http://nebraska.tv/news/local/nsp-gipd-arrests-seven-for-solicitation-of-prostitutes-to-the-area (2018)
- http://www.ketv.com/article/7-arrested-on-suspicion-for-soliciting-prostitution (2018)
- http://www.wowt.com/content/news/Seven-arrested-for– (2018)
- http://www.theindependent.com/crimes/news/seven-men-charged-with-soliciting-prostitution/article (2018)
- https://nebraskaradionetwork.com/sting-in-grand-island-leads-to-arrest-of-7-for-soliciting-prostitution/ (2018)
- http://www.kearneyhub.com/seven-men-charged-with-soliciting-prostitution-after-undercover-operation (2018)
- https://www.theindependent.com/news/crimes/grand-island-man-cleared-of-trafficking-soliciting-prostitution (2019)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://www.theindependent.com/news/local/county-to-enforce-roadhouse-law/ (2012)
- http://www.walb.com/story/11824813/ne-doctor-accused-of-urging-patient-into-prostitution (2010)
- http://wjla.com/news/offbeat/sheriff2-sisters-busted-in-fla-prostitution-ring-were-unaware-of-each-others-activities (2015)
- https://esirc.emporia.edu/bitstream/handle/123456789/767 (2016)
- https://www.usnews.com/nebraska-human-trafficking-bill-seeks-to-help-survivors (2018)