Johnson County is a mid-sized county of about 550,000 residents, covering the suburbs and unincorporated areas near Kansas City, Kansas. Prostitution is a well-documented problem in the area, and has been linked to a number of additional serious crimes. For example, several child sex trafficking cases have been reported, and more than one serial killer has specifically targeted prostituted women in the county.
In addition to city-level efforts to address underlying demand in Kansas City, Overland Park, Merriam, De Soto, Shawnee, and Prairie Village, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office has staged at least two street-level reverse stings targeted sex buyers at undisclosed locations within the county. In May 2011, for example, JCSO deputies arrested seven johns during a sting in “rural Johnson County… [between] Kansas Highways 10 and 7,” but did not disclose the exact location of the arrests. The offenders’ names were not released to the public. In 2012, a web-based reverse sting resulted in the arrest of seven sex buyers, whose names and photos were publicly released.
- Johnson County Sheriff’s Office
- Leawood Police Department
- Shawnee Police Department
- Merriam Police Department
- Overland Park Police Department
- Prarie Village Police Department
- Kansas City Police Department
National Assessment Interview
Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- https://www.facebook.com/JOCOSheriff/posts/officers-arrest-39-in-prostitution-sting-from-nov-30-to-dec-3- (2010)
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 12 Citations,” De Soto Explorer, May 12 2011.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 30 Arrests, Including 17-Year-Old Girl,” CBS/KCTV-TV 5, April 12 2013.
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- https://www.kcur.org/post/new-campaign-aims-fight-human-trafficking-cutting-demand-prostitution (2018)
Background on Sex Trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation, Prostitution in the Area:
- “Woman Pleads Guilty in Prostitution Case,” Lawrence Journal-World, May 17 1990.
- “9 Charged with Bringing Women from China for Prostitution,” Victoria Advocate, May 13 2007.
- “Judge Detains Three Charged with Transporting Prostitutes,” Nevada Daily Mail, May 15 2007.
- “Kansas City Suburb Closes Four of Raided Massage Parlors,” Nevada Daily Mail, July 8 2007.
- “Owner of Massage Parlors Pleads Guilty,” Lawrence Journal-World, December 19 2008.
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Local Police Field Reports about Man,” Lawrence Journal-World, July 3 1989.
- “Police Search for Missing Women, Suspect,” Fort Scott Tribune, July 5 1989.
- “Police Use Dogs, Airplanes in Search,” Lawrence Journal-World, July 5 1989.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area: