Kingston, PA

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

Kingston is a city of roughly 13,000 residents located in Luzerne County in central Pennsylvania. The region has a well-documented history of sex trafficking and prostitution activity. To address such problems, tactics have been employed that focus on the consumer demand side of the local prostitution market. Sting operations have been conducted in the city that have focused on those attempting to by access to sexually abuse minors and to sexually exploit adults. For example, in November 2020, at least 17 sex buyers were arrested by Kingston police on allegations they solicited a fictitious minor to engage in sex acts, and pleaded guilty in Luzerne County Court.

In May 2021, a man was arrested during an online reverse sting operation in Kingston and was charged with child sex trafficking and prostitution offenses. Court papers said the 53-year-old man was communicating with an officer posing as a child during the sting operation. The suspect told officers the boy was too young for him but knew that his friend preferred children for sex, and that he had, in the past, sent young guys to the other man. The suspect was apprehended when he arrived to meet with the boy, and charged with unlawful contact with a minor, trafficking of a minor, and promoting prostitution of a minor. Police said the man “recruited, enticed, and solicited who he believed to be a 15-year-old boy knowing or recklessly disregarding that the minor would be subjected to sexual servitude.” The man’s identity was included in news reports.

Key Partners

  • Kingston Police Department
  • Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office
  • Pennsylvania State Police

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 13329
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