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Kalama is a city of approximately 3,000 residents in Cowlitz County, WA. It is part of the Longview, WA metropolitan statistical area. Instances of prostitution have been documented in the city and surrounding areas. Among the more serious issues associated with the area’s commercial sex market are child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation. For example, in 2018, during unrelated incidents, Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two Longview men accused of sending sexually explicit messages to minors through Facebook. Both men were charged with communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and booked into the Cowlitz County Jail. One of the offenders was additionally charged with soliciting a minor for lewd touching. Violence associated with prostitution has also occurred in the city. For example, in November, 2012, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Kalama man suspected of assaulting and threatening to kill a 26-year-old prostituted woman.
In effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the county, the KPD has been known to arrest sex buyers through alternative investigations and as the result of residential reports to local law enforcement. In 2012 and 2013, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office and the Kalama Police Department conducted multiple joint investigations into a local man suspected of patronizing prostituted people. From 2009 to 2013, officers received over seven calls from concerned residents. According to reports, the man is a repeat offender. Numerous prostituted woman had reported the sex buyer to police after having been assaulted, threatened, and refused payment.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- Kalama man allegedly hires prostitutes but doesn’t pay; chaos ensues (2012)
- Man gets 45 days for hiring, attacking prostitute (2013)
- Police arrest man for patronizing prostitute – again (2013)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- City councilman proposes prostitution investigation (1960)
- Longview couple found guilty of prostitution at ‘Party Palace’ (1984)
- Prostitution alleged (1985)
- Despite pleading guilty, woman says she’s innocent of prostitution charges (1998)
- “Prostitution,” Longview Daily News, May 30 2002.
- Kelso’s shady ladies linger on in town’s colorful history (2005)
- “Undercover Sting Nets Prostitution Arrest,” Longview Daily News, May 14 2010.
- “Prostitution Sting Sends Longview Woman to Jail,” Longview Daily News, July 6 2010.
- “Sex Trafficking Suspect Arrested in Kelso,” Longview Daily News, January 23 2013.
- Kalama Man with History of Prostituted Related Crimes Arrested Again
- Woman Arrested on Suspicion of Prostitution (2016)
- Longview Men Accused of Inappropriate Contact with Minors (2018)
- Longview Couple Arrested for Alleged Child Sex Trafficking (2018)