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Lamar is the home rule municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Prowers County, Colorado and has a population of approximately 8,000 residents. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas for decades. In 1949, the state health director ordered health department agents to take court action against the alleged open prostitution occurring in the city. This occurred after two investigators reported that prostitution was occurring openly in the city. In 1959 when Lamar was named “All American City,” the city was forced to close down its most profitable business – all houses of prostitution along Main street – and recall the majority of city councilmen. Since then, the city has experienced issues with houses of prostitution and illicit massage businesses (IMBs) operating within the city and surrounding areas. Among the more serious issues associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.
In efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex, local law enforcement has staged operations targeting sex buyers in the city. For example, in 2013, officials from the Lamar Police Department were dispatched to a local Love’s Country Store on a report of domestic violence. Upon their arrival, officers contacted a 37-year-old woman of Dallas, TX and a 46-year-old male of Cedar Hill, TX in a tractor trailer truck in the lot. According to police, the couple was arguing and the male suspect was throwing the female suspect’s items out of the truck into the parking lot. Officers separated the individuals, and during the subsequent interviews of both parties, learned that the woman had performed a sexual act with the man in exchange for money earlier in the evening. As a result of the investigation the female offender was charged with prostitution and transported to the Prowers County Jail on a $500 bond. The male offender was charged with domestic violence, harassment, disorderly conduct, and soliciting a sexual act. He was also transported to the Prowers County Jail on a no-bond hold. Additional charges of solicitation were sought for a local resident in connection with the incident. The identities and images of arrested offenders were released by Lamar police officers to local media outlets.
According to the City of Lamar Human Resources Department, all potential employees undergo background screening prior to being offered employment. Per the 2019 Disqualifying Convictions List, any individual convicted of any of the following sex offenses (regardless of the time since conviction) is ineligible for city employment: child molestation, rape, sexual assault, prostitution, Solicitation, indecent exposure, etc.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://archives.theprowersjournal.com/prostitution-domestic-violence-arrest-at-north-loves-in-lamar (2013)
- https://archives.theprowersjournal.com/tag/harassment (2013)
Background Screening Standards:
- City of Lamar Employees (2019)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking: