Henderson is a city of approximately 300,000 residents in Clark County, NV, abutting the southeastern portion of Las Vegas. Prostitution in the state of Nevada is legal in counties with populations under 700,000 residents and is illegal in counties with populations over 700,000 residents. In the State’s larger cities such as Carson City, Reno, and Las Vegas, prostitution is prohibited. Legal prostitution occurring within counties consisting of populations less than 700,000 residents, is strictly limited to licensed and regulated brothels. All other forms of prostitution remain illegal in the state of Nevada. Individuals seeking to purchase commercial sex outside of licensed and regulated brothels can be arrested and sanctioned. For more information about the Prostitution and Solicitation laws in Nevada click HERE. Prostitution is illegal throughout Clark County, and this activity and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city of Henderson and other areas within the county. These crimes generate complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.
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 Henderson Police Department and Clark County Sheriff’s Office have conducted investigations and arrests of sex buyers. For example, in February 2014, the Henderson Police Department arrested a male sex buyer accused of pretending to be an officer after trying to solicit sex from a massage therapist at a Henderson spa. An employee at a local spa told detectives she was giving a man a massage when he asked her for sex. After she refused, the man allegedly identified himself as an officer and tried to arrest her. The man was not a police officer, but reportedly then told the employee that he was going to speak with his supervisor and walked out of the business. He did not return. During an investigation, the was pulled over and allegedly had a gold badge and handcuffs on the seat of his car. The man denied going to the spa but admitted to pretending to be a cop “to prevent a crime after he was offered sexual favors.” He was arrested and booked into the Henderson Detention Center on charges of impersonating an officer, burglary, and kidnapping. Henderson detectives had been investigating three other similar incidents that happened in early 2014 at massage parlors in that city. This was the second person in as many months accused of impersonating an officer in the Las Vegas Valley in prostitution-related cases. LVMP officers said another man had impersonated a police officer and raped two escorts on the Las Vegas Strip during two unrelated incidents in January 2014. In 2016, the a Clark County District Court found the offender to be guilty of numerous violent and sexual offenses and was faced with a maximum sentence of life in prison.
In July of 2021, the Henderson Police Department officers participated in a collaborative operation that resulted in the arrest of 15 male sex buyers during a two-day sting targeting individuals attempting to lure children online for sexual exploitation. Operation Dark Knight included the FBI, Southern Nevada Human Trafficking Task Force and police officers from North Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Henderson, and Homeland Security, according to a statement from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The identities of the offenders were included in news reports. Charges included luring a minor with a computer to engage in sexual conduct, attempted sex assault against a child under 14, and soliciting a child for prostitution. The men were held in the Henderson and Clark County Detention Centers.
Loss of employment is also a consequence of sex buying in the city. For example, in 2021, an operation targeting individuals seeking to sexually exploit children in exchange for money, resulted in the arrest of 5 male sex buyers, including a firefighter from Henderson. Officers from the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department posted decoy advertisements on known prostitution websites posing as underage girls. Detectives stated that former firefighter in addition to the other arrested offenders continued to engage in communication with the decoy officers despite believing that the teenage girl (decoy) was 15 years old. According to reports, the sex buyer allegedly agreed to pay $100 in exchange for sex but then told the teenage girl (decoy) he only had $70. The sex buyer was arrested upon his arrival to the agreed location at a local hotel and charged with one count of Soliciting a Child for Prostitution and one count of Luring a Child for Sexual Acts. The Henderson Fire Department placed the offender on administrative leave with pay while officials conducted further investigations. The identities, photos, ages, locations, and charges of arrested offenders were included in reports from local news sources.
Background on Local Sex Trafficking and Prostitution:
- https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/sex-crimes/15-arrested-booked-in-henderson-during-child-sex-sting-2410529/ (2015)
- https://lasvegassun.com/news/2015/aug/26/men-convicted-trafficking-teen-girls-las-vegas-pro/ (2015)
Arrest of Sex Buyers, Shaming:
- https://lasvegassun.com/news/2014/feb/14/henderson-police-say-spa-customer-impersonated-off/ (2014)
- https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas-man-accused-of-impersonating-officer-at-henderson-massage-parlor/ (2014)
Web-Based Reverse Sting:
- https://www.reviewjournal.com/15-arrested-booked-henderson-during-child-sex-sting/ (2021)
- https://www.fox5vegas.com/news/las-vegas-police-arrest-15-alleged-sex-predators-in-multiagency-operation/article_5480cace-f18a-11eb-96e2-2fcaa47a4b4c.html (2021)
Loss of employment:
- https://www.reviewjournal.com/crime/sex-crimes/henderson-firefighter-5-other-men-arrested-in-child-sex-sting-2282030/ (2021)
- https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/henderson-firefighter-arrested-for-allegedly-trying-to-solicit-sex-from-officer-posing-as-15-year-old/ (2021)
- https://news3lv.com/news/local/henderson-firefighter-arrested-in-underage-sex-sting (2021)