Lenexa is a city of approximately 48,000 residents, located in northeast Kansas. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Johnson County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To deter sex buyers, the Lenexa Police Department has conducted street-level reverse stings and web stings using an undercover female officer. Once apprehended, johns may be required to enroll (or offered the option of enrolling) in the john school operated by Veronica’s Voice in Kansas City. Given the circumstances of the arrest, they may also be subject to vehicle seizure, and required to pay fines and fees for their recovery.
In July, 2018, the Kansas Attorney General announced a new awareness campaign in Kansas is aimed at cutting the demand for prostitution as a way to fight human trafficking. The campaign involves state agencies and local advocacy groups teaming up to push the “Demand an End” initiative, which features education and announcements warning people that buyers of sex face charges. The campaign intends to promote a culture where buying sex is not acceptable. It is based on the assumption that the money from sex buyers fuels a marketplace that enables sex trafficking.
- Lenexa Kansas Police Department
- Veronica’s Voice
- “Craigslist Prostitution Sting Nets 6 Arrests”, Kansas City Star, February 22 2008.
- “Police Nab 16 in Prostitution Sting”, Kansas City Star, July 23 2008.
- Police Report, Lenexa Police Department, November 2 2009.
- https://www.kcur.org/post/new-campaign-aims-fight-human-trafficking-cutting-demand-prostitution (2018)
Background on Prostitution in the Area: