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Lewiston is a city of approximately 33,000 residents in north central Idaho, and is the county seat of Nez Perce County. It is the second-largest city in the northern Idaho region behind Coeur d’Alene, and ninth-largest in the state. Prostitution has been a well-documented problem in the region for decades. Prostitution was legal in Lewiston until 1944-1945, and brothels existed openly in the city in the 1800s and mid-1900s. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. In addition, instances of prostitution have frequently been reported as occurring with ancillary crimes such as drugs, robbery, and assault.
In response to a survey conducted in 2021 by the NCOSE team for a National Institute of Justice grant to update and expand Demand Forum (Grant #2020-75-CX-0011), representatives from the Lewiston Police Department reported that they had conducted web-based reverse stings and made arrests of sex buyers during narcotic investigations. They also said that they had used males as the decoy prostituted person at least once, but typically arrested male sex buyers seeking to sexually exploit women.
2021 National Assessment II Survey
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://klewtv.com/news/local/local-law-enforcement-predict-child-sex-trafficking-happens-locally (2014)
- https://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/lawmakers-hear-sex-trafficking-horror-stories (2018)
- https://klewtv.com/news/local/human-trafficking-survivor-spreads-awareness-in-lc-valley (2019)
- https://www.bigcountrynewsconnection.com/22-year-old-lewiston-man-arrested-for-lewd-and-lascivious-conduct-with-a-minor (2021)
- https://lmtribune.com/northwest/judge-sets-bail-at-75k-in-child-rape-case (2021)
- https://lmtribune.com/opinion/commentary-human-trafficking-is-everywhere-you-look-including-idaho (2021)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- Lapwai policemen resign (1979)
- https://inspirationsandexplorations.com/roadtrip-lewiston-idaho-brothels-and-ghosts (2011)
- https://www.facebook.com/HistoricFirstsOfLewistonIdaho-prostitution-in-lewistons-history-has-never-been-a-secret (2015)
- https://www.inland360.com/lewiston-moscow/the-red-lights-of-lewiston-historians-explore-a-sinful-century (2015)
- https://lmtribune.com/northwest/woman-faces-prostitution-charge-in-asotin-county (2017)
- https://www.bigcountrynewsconnection.com/lewiston-police-department-daily-activity-log-wednesday-august (2021)
- https://www.wcgazette.com/story/news/prostitution-robbery-and-gunfire-lead-two-to-jail (2021)
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