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Kansas City, KS is a city on the northeastern border of the state, with a population of about 153,000 people. It is the third largest city in the state of Kansas and is the largest city and seat of Wyandotte County, KS. Given the structure of the twin cities of Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, MO, many of the police operations and other efforts to address prostitution and sex trafficking are joint efforts of the two cities, in addition to the respective county sheriff’s offices and neighboring suburbs in the two states. Reverse stings have been utilized as a means to battle sex trafficking and prostitution since at least 1979, if not earlier. For example one reverse sting in April of 1979 resulted in the arrest of 63 male sex buyers. During a day-long reverse sting operation in 2006, 18 sex buyers were arrested, 16 of which had their cars towed in relation to the solicitation charges. Web stings and SOAP orders are other tactics Kansas City police have used to deter sex trafficking in the area.
In May, 2022, 32 people were arrested in a massive child exploitation operation conducted across Missouri and Kansas. Authorities with the Department of Homeland Security said 15 of those arrests came from a sting conducted in Independence, Kansas City, Jackson, Platte, and Clay Counties in Missouri, and Bourbon County in Kansas. Multiple law enforcement agencies in the Wichita area teamed up for Operation Blue Ghost, which netted 17 arrests for crimes including aggravated human trafficking, promoting the sale of sex, and purchasing sex acts. Authorities in the Kansas City area collaborated to arrest an additional 15 individuals. According to a release from the Midwest division of the DHS, partners in and around Independence, Kansas City, Clay County, and Platte County in Missouri, and in Bourbon County, Kansas targeted adults willing to travel for the purpose of sexually exploiting a child. Of the 15 arrested in the Kansas City-area sting, authorities said crimes included intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, enticement of a minor, sex trafficking of a child, furnishing pornography to minors, sexual exploitation of a minor, promoting prostitution, aggravated human trafficking, sex trafficking, felony assault on a law enforcement officer, attempted statutory sodomy, and attempted second-degree statutory rape.
A john school operated by Model Equality and Veronica’s Voice called Stopping Sexual Exploitation: a Program for Men is based in Kansas City, Missouri and open to all courts within the Kansas City MSA. SSEKC is designed to help men understand their behavior and promote their accountability in choosing to not buy sex. The program consists of the following components:
- Two individual 60-minute sessions of Motivational Interviewing (MI) before participation in the group. (MI has been proven to enhance the effectiveness of group intervention programs for perpetration of Domestic Violence and people struggling with chemical dependency.)
- Eight weekly group sessions will follow. Group size is limited, and the eight three-hour learning modules are highly interactive, utilizing exercises and group discussion to engage participants in a process of self-reflection and critical analysis. Weekly topics include:
- Sexuality and Gender Socialization
- Harm to Victim/Survivors
- The Sexual Violence Continuum
- Pimping, Trafficking and Domestic Violence
- Power and Violence
- Mutuality in Relationships
- The Will to Change
The SSEKC program costs $850.00 with a sliding scale available to those who provide income verification. The process for successful completion of the program is as follows:
For more information on the SSEKC program follow the links below:
- Stopping Sexual Exploitation Kansas City (SSEKC) 2019 Evaluation Report
- Johnz School 2008-2014 Evaluation Report
- SSEKC 2019 Presentation
Identity disclosure and loss of employment are also consequences of buying sex within the city. For example, in 1973, a Kansas City attorney was arrested and convicted of felony prostitution and bribery charges. According to records, “the petitioner was charged in a grand jury indictment in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas with conspiracy to violate the Kansas laws against prostitution and bribery. The charge grew out of the operation of certain houses of prostitution in Wyandotte County by a client of the petitioner and allegations that the client conspired with the petitioner to bribe certain police officials and thereby obtain protection from raids upon the houses of prostitution, and the enforcement of the criminal laws relating to prostitution. He went to trial before a jury and was convicted.” As a result of his arrest, he voluntarily surrendered his certificate and privilege to practice law in the state of Kansas.
- 63 Arrested for Prostitution (1979)
- “Press Release,” Press Release, Kansas City Police Department, August 5 2006.
- “Police Arrest 21 Men in Prostitution Sting,” CBS/KCTV-TV 5, August 3 2007.
- https://www.kmbc.com/kansas-child-sexual-exploitation-trafficking-arrests (2022)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Daughter Forced into Prostitution by Mother,” Nevada Daily Mail, August 27 1993.
- “Mom Will Pay for Pain of Girl Forced into Prostitution; Woman Receives 15 to 55 Years in Prison,” Wichita Eagle, August 28 1993.
- “Man Pleads Guilty to Forcing a 14-Year-Old Girl into Criminal Sexual Activities,” Olathe News, March 19 2008.
- “Stepfather Sentenced in Teen Sexual Abuse Case,” Bonner Springs-Edwardsville Chieftain, April 21 2008.
Sex Buyer Resigned or Fired Due to Arrest:
- https://demand-forum.org/The_Wichita_Eagle_Thu__Jun_6__1974_-1.jpg (1974)
- https://law.justia.com/cases/kansas/supreme-court/ (1981)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Miller Files 87 Warrants,” Lawrence Journal-World, April 18 1973.
- “Nightclub Owner Convicted,” Wichita Eagle, January 22 1993.
- “Raid on KCK Massage Parlor Breaks up Prostitution Ring,” Wichita Eagle, February 13 1994.
- “Conviction Upheld for Witness in Bribery Case,” Wichita Eagle, September 3 1994.
- “Political Cloud Hangs over Wyandotte County,” Wichita Eagle, September 18 1994.
- “Strip Club Owner Gets 2-Year Term,” Lawrence Journal-World, November 17 1994.
- “The Last Straw; Neighborhood Ills Get Best of a Good Man,” Kansas City Kansan, March 28 2001.
- “New Strategies Considered in War on Prostitution,” Kansas City Kansan, May 14 2001.
- “Her Corner of the World,” Kansas City Kansan, December 31 2001.