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Lanham is an unincorporated community and census-designated place located within Prince George’s County, Maryland, in the greater D.C. metropolitan area. The community has about 11,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented throughout Prince George’s County, including in the town of Lanham. For example, in 2019 a Lanham resident admitted to selling drugs to women engaging in prostitution, and giving them food and a place to stay while profiting from their activities, according to charging documents. Police apprehended the man in Laurel after receiving an anonymous tip that a woman was being held there against her will. Also in 2019, a police officer was suspended while authorities conducted investigations into allegations that an off-duty Prince George’s County police officer exchanged money for a sexual act while he was in his marked cruiser. Within hours of PG County authorities learning about the allegation, the officer was suspended with pay while the case moved forward.
The need to confront the wide range of problems associated with the local sex trade have led local authorities to include efforts to combat the consumer-level demand that drives all prostitution and sex trafficking. For example, a reverse sting operation was conducted in Lanham in June 2016. A Prince George’s County elementary school teacher was among four men arrested at a hotel in Lanham. The Silver Spring resident was employed as a teacher at a Hyattsville elementary school at the time he was arrested, according to Prince George’s County Police. The man was charged with two counts of prostitution and human trafficking. Investigators said the man solicited a prostituted person and rented a room that was used for prostitution. He was taken into the custody of the Maryland Department of Corrections. Prince George’s County Public Schools said in a statement to FOX5:
“Prince George’s County Public Schools is aware of the arrest of a Langley Park McCormick Elementary School teacher. We will cooperate fully with law enforcement in its investigation. PGCPS is not going to tolerate this kind of conduct. The district remains focused on our commitment to ensure a quality education in a safe environment for the children of PGCPS.”
- Prince George’s County Police Department
Reverse Sting, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.wusa9.com/prince-georges-county-teacher-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://patch.com/maryland/bowie/elementary-teacher-arrested-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://www.nbcwashington.com/md_-teacher_-3-others-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://www.thesentinel.com/county-elementary-school-teacher-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://www.fox5dc.com/news/prince-georges-county-elementary-school-teacher-arrested-in-prostitution-sting (2016)
- https://wjla.com/news/local/pgcps-elementary-teacher-arrested-for-prostitution-human-trafficking-in-sting (2016)
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/public-safety/maryland-elementary-school-teacher-busted-in-prostitution-sting (2016)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Woman, 19, Allegedly Forced into Prostitution; Abduction Suspect Arrested at Garden Inn in Laurel”, Annapolis Capital Gazette, June 11 2010.
- “Takoma Park Man Charged with Running Prostitution Ring in Annapolis”, Annapolis Capital Gazette, August 8 2012.
- “Prince George’s County Police Arrest 81 in College Park Prostitution Stings”, University of Maryland’s Diamondback, August 2 2012.
- “Police Arrest 30+ in College Park Hotels Prostitution Sting”, CBS/WNEW-FM 99.1, August 3 2012.
- “Dark World of Prostitution Turns to the Day”, Washington Post, December 17 2012.
- “Prostitution Led by Growth of Area Gambling, Police Say”, ABC/WJLA-TV 7, April 26 2013.
- “Prince George’s ‘Pimps’ Swept Up in Nationwide Raid Aimed at Underage Prostitution”, D.C. Crime Stories, July 29 2013.
- “Pr. George’s Council Bill Would Ban Hotels’ Hourly Rates to Discourage Sex Trafficking”, Washington Post, September 23 2014.
- “Police: 16-Year-Old Girl Held as Sex Slave in Md.”, CBS/WUSA-TV 9, June 27 2014.
- https://apnews.com/article (2018)
- https://www.fox5dc.com/news/prince-georges-county-police-officer-pleads-guilty-to-soliciting-a-prostitute (2019)
- http://pgpolice.blogspot.com/college-park-prostitution-sting (2020)
- https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/pr/maryland-us-attorney-s-office-continues-fight-against-human-trafficking (2022)
- https://smnewsnet.com/prince-georges-county-sex-trafficker-sentenced-to-20-years-in-federal-prison-for-the-trafficking-of-two-minors (2022)