Holden, MA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Holden is a town of about 20,000 residents in central Massachusetts, near Worcester. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies. 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. For example, in March 2010, a sex buyer was arrested for soliciting a prostituted woman. He had placed an ad on Craigslist seeking a prostituted person; undercover officers from the Holden Police Department responded. Details of the operation, as well as the man’s identification information, were released to the media. In 2012 a more traditional web-based sting was conducted, when police initiated operations and placed a decoy ad online. That operation resulted in the arrest of another sex buyer, whose identity was also publicized. In February 2018, a web-based reverse sting resulted in the arrest of four sex buyers.

Key Sources

Background on Prostitution in the Area

  • “Prostitutes Tested for Deadly Disease”, Nashua Telegraph, February 18 1986
  • “Hustling on the Triangle; Male Prostitutes Risk AIDS, Growing”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, September 24 1989
  • “Main South Night Patrol Is Kept Busy”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 26 1992
  • “8 Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, November 16 2003
  • “14 Arrested in City Vice Squad Sweep”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, June 4 2004.”
  • “Vice Squad Arrests 11 in Prostitution Sting”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August 22 2005.”
  • “Prostitution Sting Team Strikes”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, February 13 2006.”
  • “12 Charged in Prostitution Sting”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August 10 2007.”
  • “Prostitution Burrows into Neighborhood Life”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, October 1 2007
  • “17 Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Main South Neighborhood”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, September 10 2010.”
  • “City Woman Faces Prostitution Charges; Operation of 2 Brothels Is Alleged”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, June 23 2012
  • “Suburbs Seeing Their Share of Sex Trade”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, November 12 2012.”
  • “Worcester Officials Seek Ways to Curb Prostitution”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, October 1 2012.”
  • “Prostitution, Drugs Raise Concerns of Student Safety in Main South”, Worcester Magazine, September 26 2013
  • “Worcester Police Charge Five Women with Prostitution-Related Offenses”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 21 2014
  • “In Search of Prostitution Solution, Worcester Wants to Crack down on Johns, Help Victims,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 13 2015
  • “Woman Working to Help Worcester’s Prostitutes Get off the Streets Used to Be One of Them,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 29 2016
  • https://www.telegram.com/rutland-to-consider-censure-for-selectman-arrested-in-worcester-prostitution-sting (2018)
  • https://www.masslive.com/men-are-the-perpetrators-here-prostitution-arrests-worcester (2021)
  • https://www.masslive.com/worcesters-lift-opens-new-location-harbor-program-offering-prostituted-shelter (2021)

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area

  • “Serial Killings Suspected in Mass.”, Associated Press, March 25 2004
  • “Slayings Highlight Need for a Women’s Shelter; Prostitutes, Drug Abusers Seen as Being at Serious Risk”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 28 2004
  • “Serial Killer’s 3 Victims Shared Short, Troubled Lives”, Norwalk Hour, April 10 2004
  • “Slayings Highlight Community at Risk, Program Examines the Troubled Lives of Three Victims”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, July 20 2004
  • “Woman’s Apparent Slaying Probed, Police Suspect Link to Deaths of 3 Others”, Boston Globe, September 19 2004
  • “Mean Streets, Desperate Lives; The Area of Worcester, Mass., Where Wendy Morello Was Last Seen Alive Is Plagued by Crime, Drug Addiction– and the Killings of Four Prostitutes in the Last Year; Police”, Portland Press Herald, September 26 2004″ Lack of Clues Stymies Case on Serial Killer”, Boston Globe, December 16 2004
  • “Serial Killer Sought; ‘Person of Interest’ in Prostitute Slayings”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, May 2 2008
  • “Man Is Guilty of Rape, Kidnapping; Prostitutes Said They Were Assaulted”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 30 2010
  • “Ex-Officer Gets 10 to 12 for Rape”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, February 26 2010
  • “Alex Scesny of Berlin to Be Tried for Raping, Murdering Theresa Stone”, Associated Press, April 29 2010
  • “Scesny Rape, Murder Trial Date Slated”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 29 2010
  • “Witness Says She Was Kidnapped; Man Charged with Knife-Point Rape, Beating of Prostitute”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 22 2011
  • “No Sexual Assault Found; 1 Charge Sticks in City Case”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, April 24 2011
  • “Scesny Guilty of ’96 Fitchburg Murder”, Worcester Telegram & Gazette, March 29 2012
  • “Briddon Convicted on Rape, Assault”, Worcester Magazine, July 23 2012
  • “Worcester John Gets 8-10 Years in Rape of Prostitute, Assault with Brick,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 16 2015
  • “Millbury Man Convicted of Attack on Prostitute in Sutton Cornfield,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, June 9 2015
  • “Woman Working to Help Worcester’s Prostitutes Get off the Streets Used to Be One of Them,” Worcester Telegram & Gazette, January 29 2016

Child Endangerment

  • “Nearly Two Dozen Rounded Up in Sex Sting”,  Worcester Telegram-Gazette, April 3 2008
State Massachusetts
Type City
Population 19905
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