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Huntington is the largest city in and the county seat of Huntington County, Indiana, and its population is about 17,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the city of Huntington and surrounding areas. For example, in July 2015 a woman from Huntington County was arrested on allegations that she was prostituting at an area truck stop under the guise of working at a massage parlor, and was charged with one felony count of prostitution. According to the Indiana State Police, the investigation began in May after police received an anonymous tip that the woman was living at and operating a massage parlor at a Travel Plaza near an Interstate 69 interchange. State police, as well as authorities from Huntington and Fort Wayne, conducted an undercover sting operation and arrested the woman.
Among the tactics used to respond to such crimes are those targeting sex buyers. For example, in March 2017, a Huntington man was arrested and charged by the Huntington County Prosecutor’s Office with patronizing a prostitute, class A misdemeanor. A Huntington City Police Officer performed a traffic stop on a vehicle, and determined that the two women in the car were involved in prostitution and charged them with a class A misdemeanor of prostitution. It was also determined through examining text messages that the man they were going to visit was a sex buyer who had met the women through a website. He stated he found the profile of one of the women and contacted her via cellphone, and admitted that he agreed to pay each $150 per hour for sexual intercourse. He also admitted it was their second or third trip to his residence. His identity was included in news reports.
In February 2021, a Huntington man was sentenced to 30 years in prison and 5 years on probation for charges of child molesting and promotion of sexual trafficking of a younger child. The man had groomed the victim for sex trafficking starting in July 2018 through October 2020; the girl was 13-years-old when he first picked her up in Huntington County before sexually abusing her. Other men reached out to the defendant asking if he knew any girls for trafficking and that he offered to connect them with the victim. The man’s identity was publicly released by police.
- Huntington County Prosecutor’s Office
- Huntington Police Department
- Indiana State Police
Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.yournewslocal.com/huntington-man-charged-with-patronizing-a-prostitute (2017)
- https://fortwaynesnbc.com/man-who-admitted-to-child-sex-trafficking-sentenced-to-30-years (2021)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.wowo.com/warren-woman-arrested-on-charges-of-prostitution (2015)
- https://www.journalgazette.net/news/local/police-fire/Warren-woman-held-on-prostitution-charge (2015)
- https://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/files/ht%20report%202016.pdf (2016)
- https://www.huntington.in.us/egov/documents/1607356016_80012.pdf (2020)