|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Keene is a city of about 23,000 residents, located about an hour’s drive west of Nashua in southern New Hampshire’s Cheshire County. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been documented in the city, and among the responses have been efforts to apprehend sex buyers and hold them accountable for motivating these crimes. In December 2013, the Keene Police Department conducted an unconventional sting operation via the internet. Keene police received an anonymous tip about a Craigslist ad, which was called “graphic” in nature. A KPD officer, posing as an adult female answering his ad, initiated an online correspondence with the man, who drove to Keene to meet with who he thought was a prostituted woman. He arrived at the agreed-upon location in Keene and was instead met by two KPD detectives, who promptly arrested him. The man was released on $5,000 personal recognizance and was scheduled to be arraigned in Circuit Court District Division in Keene. In July 2016, the KPD conducted a more traditional web sting with the support of New Hampshire Drug Task Force officers. This time, law enforcement reportedly “set up an operation on the internet to bust both people offering prostitution services and those seeking services.” Three attempted sex buyers and one sex seller were arrested as a result; all had their identities and arrest photos publicized in press.
Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the county. For example, in September, 2016, a Keene fire captain found guilty of a prostitution charge submitted his resignation, which was effective immediately. According to court documents, the man used a city-owned cellphone to solicit two people he thought were prostituted women — including one who was an undercover Keene police officer — and tried to meet one of the women while on duty, and used a city fire vehicle in an attempt to find the other woman. The sex buyer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of prostitution after an investigation by the Keene Police Department. The city’s fire department also initiated a concurrent investigation. The man had been a captain on the Keene Fire Department since 2013; before that he served as a lieutenant. According to a police affidavit in the case, the man was suspended from fire department work during the investigation.
- Keene Police Department
- Keene Fire Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Vermont Man Faces Prostitution Charge in Keene”, Keene Sentinel, December 16 2013.
- “VT Man Accused of Soliciting a Prostitute Over Craigslist in NH”, CBS/WBZ-TV 4, December 16 2013.
- “4 Busted in Online Prostitution Sting,” WBIN-TV 50, July 8 2016.
- “Keene Continues to Arrest in Online Prostitution Sting,” New Hampshire Union Leader, July 12 2016.
- “Two Men Face Charges in Keene Prostitution Sting,” Keene Sentinel, July 13 2016.
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Woman Sentenced for Prostitution”, Keene Sentinel, January 17 2013.
- “Greenville Woman Convicted on Prostitution Charge”, Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, January 21 2013.