Junction City, KS

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

Junction City is a small city of approximately 23,000 residents about an hour’s drive west of Topeka, Kansas. It is the largest city and county seat of Geary County, KS. Cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been reported in the community for decades. This activity and its ancillary crimes has generated complaints to local law enforcement by residents and businesses. For example, in the late 1970s, the city began conducting raids at local businesses and bars suspected for serving as front for brothels and prostitution activity. According to reports, the significant increase in commercial sex activity since the late 1970s, can be attributed to the influx of soldiers and the city’s close proximity to the U.S. Military Base, Fort Riley. Large-scale sex trafficking rings have also occurred in the city. For example, in the mid-to-late 1980s, an international sex trafficking operation was uncovered in Junction City. According to reports, women were being transported from Korea to Junction City, where they were then trafficked to other U.S. states such as Hawaii, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Wyoming for purposes of prostitution. Reports of targeted violence and homicide against prostituted women has also been documented in the county. For example, in 2014, a man and a woman living at Fort Riley were arrested for the murder of a Junction City missing woman after her body was found in a rural area of the county. According to reports, the victim was a known prostituted woman and the couple was known to have been in contact with her prior to her disappearance. In 2017, the couple and two others were found guilty of assaulting, robbing, raping, and murdering the woman. Among the more serious issues associated with the area’s commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.

In effort to combat commercial sex activity in the city and surrounding areas, tactics to reduce demand for prostitution and sex trafficking have been implemented, such as identity disclosure and reverse sting operations. The first known use of reverse stings in the community occurred in 1976 and resulted in the arrest of six male sex buyers by Junction City Police officers. According to reports, the arrested sex buyers had attempted to solicit undercover female JCPD officers for sex. These operations do not occur frequently, but have been conducted several times in the city and greater county area.

At times, these operations have been conducted in conjunction with other local law enforcement agencies. For example, in June 2012, the JCPD and Grandview Police Department assisted the Geary County Sheriff’s Office in a web-based reverse sting operation that resulted in the arrest of 16 individuals for prostitution and soliciting prostitution (sex buying) charges. The operation was initiated as a response by the Sheriff’s Office to the increasing number of reports regarding suspected child sex trafficking activity occurring in the city and greater county area. However, the investigation did not result in any arrests for sex trafficking offenses. Deputies used a Junction City hotel as the meeting location where the decoy and support team made the arrests.

In 2017, the Geary County Sheriff’s Office and the Junction City Police Department participated in the FBI’s annual nationwide effort to combat child sex trafficking, Operation Cross Country XI. As a result of the four-day, street-level and web-based reverse sting operation led by the Kansas City FBI Division’s Child Exploitation Task Force, three teenage victims of child sex trafficking were rescued and 10 individuals were arrested. The operation was conducted in 10 cities in Kansas and Missouri, including Topeka, KS and Junction City, KS. While the identities of arrested sex buyers and sex traffickers were not provided in articles about the operation, arrest photos were released by the Geary County Sheriff’s Office. The images contained the identity and charges of arrested sex buyers and sex traffickers in Geary County. In total, six men were arrested for soliciting promoting prostitution charges in Geary County. One of the arrested offenders was also arrested on felony the drug charge, “possession of depressants, stimulants, or hallucinogenic drugs.” As part of the operation, FBI agents and task force officers set up operations in hotels, casinos, and truck stops, as well as on street corners and on the Internet. As a result of the nationwide effort, 84 minors were rescued and 120 traffickers arrested.

Sex buyers and sex traffickers have also been arrested as a result of alternative investigations and residential reports to local law enforcement. For example, in January 2021, a Junction City High School athletic trainer was arrested on charges of sexual exploitation of a child and promoting obscenity to minors by officers from the Junction City Police Department. As a result of his arrest, in late January, Geary County Schools USD 475, suspended the offender from all duties at Junction City High School until the completion of the police investigation, according to Superintendent Reginald Eggleston. A report from the Kansas Board of Healing Arts said the former trainer was, “treating a student under 18 years old at Junction City High School and began sending the student ‘sexually explicit text messages’ to their cellphone, including nude images of himself and a ‘video of himself masturbating.'” The KBHA stated that the offender’s action violated the Athletic Trainers Licensure Act and decided to suspend his license indefinitely,

“Licensee violated K.A.R. 100-69-7(a)(10) by committing acts of sexual abuse, misconduct, or other improper sexual contact that exploited the licensee-patient relationship.”

In August 2017, the offender was ordered by the court to serve 32 months in the Kansas Department of Corrections, however, the court reversed that decision and ordered the former trainer to 36 months of probation after serving 60 days in the Geary County Detention Center. Additionally, he was required to register as a sex offender for 25 years.

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings:

  • “Local Police Use Woman Decoy; Six Men Get Solicitation Charge,” Junction City Daily Union, August 16 1976.
  • Solicitors charged (1976)
  • “Five Arrested in ‘Reverse Sting’ Operation,” Junction City Daily Union, July 7 1995.

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Operation Cross Country:

Background on Local Sex Trafficking:

Background on Local Prostitution:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaging in the Commercial Sex Industry:

State Kansas
Type City
Population 22932
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