Jackson County, OR
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Jackson County, is a county in Southwestern Oregon that has a population of about 224,000 residents. Its county seat and largest city is Medford, OR, which is also the 4th largest metro area in the state. Other noteworthy cities in the county are Central Point and Ashland. These communities and unincorporated areas of the county have had well-documented prostitution and sex trafficking activity for decades. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.
To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. For example, Medford police began conducting web-based reverse stings in 2005. During a 2007 sting, Medford police targeted male sex buyers by posting a decoy ad on Craigslist.com. The investigation resulted in the arrest of three male sex buyers for solicitation of prostitution.
In June 2008, Medford and Central Point police teamed together to target the local commercial sex market, arresting three men suspected of soliciting prostitution and four women suspected of working as prostituted persons. The police departments each had uncovered information online and from informants that led them to suspect prostitution was occurring locally. Medford and Central Point detectives conducted stings at an undisclosed local motel Tuesday and Wednesday. The identities of the men cited and released on prostitution charges were included in press releases.
In 2010, a web-based reverse sting was conducted in Ashland, that resulted in the arrest of 13 sex buyers. According to reports, the 13 sex buyers had met with two prostituted women during “outcalls” at either the men’s homes and/or local motels. All 13 men were charged with soliciting prostitution. The names and ages of the arrested sex buyers were released to local media outlets after they had been sent to the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office as evidence.
In June, 2017, Medford police conducted a web-based reverse sting operation that resulted in the arrest of 11 men on charges of soliciting prostitution, two men on charges of promoting prostitution, and seven women on charges of prostitution. According to reports, police posted decoy ads on websites known for prostitution and sex trafficking, in addition to responding to ads posted by others on the same platforms, targeting both sex buyers and prostituted persons. The offenders were arrested and charged upon their arrival to Medford hotels by undercover officers.
In June, 2018, a southern Oregon man was sentenced to more than six years in prison for assaulting a prostituted woman he contacted online. He pleading guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, attempted sodomy, and coercion for the June 2016 encounter. Jackson County Deputy District Attorney said the man met the woman after contacting her through backpage.com, and held the woman at gunpoint and forced her to perform sexual acts.
- Jackson County Sheriff’s Office
- Jackson County District Attorney’s Office
- Southern Oregon Child Exploitation Team (SOCET)
- Ashland Police Department
- Central Point Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Disclosure of Identities:
- http://mailtribune.com/archive/seven-arrested-in-medford-central-point-prostitution-ring (2008)
- “Craigslist-Based Prostitution Sting Nets 5 Arrests in Medford,” Medford Mail-Tribune, February 22 2009.
- Ashland Daily Tidings, “6 Indicted on Prostitution Charges,” September 22, 2010.
- Ashland Daily Tidings, “13 Men, 2 Women Involved in Ashland Prostitution Ring: $90 to $200 Appointments Took Place in June,” July 30, 2010.
- Prostitution ring names sent to Jackson DA (2010)
- Mailtribune.com, “Prostitution Ring Allegedly Run Through Craigslist Site,” July 8, 2010.
- Statesmanjournal.com, Alleged Ashland Prostitution Ring Names Sent to DA, August 2, 2010.
- http://www.mailtribune.com/article (September 2010)
- https://oregoncrimenews.com/medford-police-arrest-11-men-accused-of-patronizing-prostitutes-during-undercover-sting/ (2017)
- https://kobi5.com/medford-police-20-people-arrested-in-undercover-sex-trafficking-operation (2017)
- https://mailtribune.com/medford-police-arrest-20-in-sex-sting (2017)
- https://www.apnews.com/fab (2018)
- https://katu.com/southern-oregon-man-sentenced-to-prison-for-2016-attack-on-prostitute (2018)
- https://www.yaktrinews.com/oregon-man-sentenced-to-prison-for-2016-attack-on-prostitute (2018)
- https://jacksoncountyor.org/sheriff/News/task-force-investigates-commercial-prostitution-amp-human-trafficking-concerns-photo (2021)
- https://jacksoncountyor.org/task-force-undercover-operation-identifies-suspects-victimizing-children-online-arrests-five-for-child-sex-crimes-photo (2022)
Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in the Area:
- “Police Seek Suspect in Forced Rape Case,” Ashland Daily Tidings, August 14 2009.
- “Medford Man Heads to Prison for Forcing Prostitution on Girl,” Medford Mail-Tribune, February 10 2010.
- “Two Arrested in Alleged Prostitution Case,” Medford Mail-Tribune, November 26 2013.
- https://theroguenews.com/sin-city-of-the-west-ashland-oregon/ (2013)
- “Medford Man Gets Prison Time for Promoting Prostitution,” Medford Mail-Tribune, March 14 2014.
- “Man Admits Trafficking in Sex with Minor Girls,” Eugene Register-Guard, April 10 2014.
- “Backpage.com Sting Nets Grants Pass Woman on Prostitution Charges,” Medford Mail-Tribune, December 19 2014.
- “Alleged Prostitute Accused of Extortion,” Medford Mail-Tribune, February 2 2015.
- https://www.herald-dispatch.com/5-charged-with-prostitution-after-sting-in-ashland (2017)
- https://www.oregonlive.com/southern_oregon_man_accused_of_5.html (2018)
- https://kobi5.com/medford-police-make-arrest-sex-trafficking-case (2018)
- https://mailtribune.com/pair-charged-with-trafficking-15-year-old-in-medford (2019)
- https://fox26medford.com/california-couple-arrested-in-medford-accused-of-trafficking-15-year-old/ (2019)
- https://www.metrowestdailynews.com/three-crowd-worcester-woman-arrested-after-police-say-ashland-sex-rendezvous-goes-awry (2021)
Documented Child Endangerment:
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