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Ladson is a census-designated place of roughly 15,000 residents, located in South Carolina’s Berkeley County and Charleston County near Summerville. Prostitution activity has been reported in the community, and has been linked to at least one serial rapist who specifically targeted prostituted women. The offender reportedly picked up women in high-stroll areas of North Charleston, brought them to locations in Summerville and Ladson, and sexually assaulted them.
In their efforts to reduce the size and scope of the county’s prostitution market, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has conducted at least two reverse stings in the community. In October 2015, BCSO officers announced the arrests of 14 individuals following undercover prostitution and narcotics investigations in Ladson and Summerville. Among those arrested were seven men for soliciting prostitution. All of the arrestees’ names and mugshots were publicized in press. The logistical details of the stings– including which of the two communities each of the offenders were arrested in– were not disclosed.
In May 2016, BCSO deputies partnered with Hanahan Police Department officers to conduct a second street-level reversal, this time arresting 11 men for prostitution solicitation and five others on drug and warrants charges in Ladson, Goose Creek, and Hanahan. Nine of those arrested were reportedly picked up in Hanahan, with the remainder arrested in Goose Creek and Ladson; it is unclear which, if any, sex buyers were picked up in each of the three communities participating in the sting. Following the operation, all of the offenders’ names and arrest photos ran in the press.
- Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “14 Arrested in Berkeley County after Prostitution, Drug Sting,” ABC/WCIV-TV 4, October 26 2015.
- “Fourteen People Arrested in Prostitution, Narcotics Sting in Berkeley Co.,” CBS/WCSC-TV 5, October 26 2015.
- “Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office Arrests 14 in Narcotics and Prostitution Investigation,” Berkeley Independent, November 3 2015.
- “16 Arrested in Berkeley County for Solicitation of Prostitution, Other Charges,” NBC/WCBD-TV 2, May 16 2016.
- “16 Arrested in Undercover Berkeley Prostitution Sting,” Charleston Post and Courier, May 16 2016.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Investigators: Pastor to Be Charged in Third Rape Case,” Charleston Post and Courier, August 17 2011.
- “New Charges for Ex-Pastor Dale Richardson,” Charleston Post and Courier, August 19 2011.
- “Judge Expected to Decide Whether to Set Bail on Accused Serial Rapist Dale Richardson,” Charleston Post and Courier, March 29 2013.