Longview, WA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Longview is a city of approximately 38,000 residents, located in southwest Washington state. It is the largest city in Cowlitz County, WA. Instances of prostitution have been documented in the county. This activity and its ancillary crimes have generated complaints to local law enforcement from residents and businesses. For example, in 1984, a Longview couple was arrested after officers saw a flyer advertising their home as the “Party Palace.” According to reports, the house was described as a location for swingers. When an undercover officer was making a phone reservation, the husband allegedly promised the officer “good looking women and good sex” if he came. He was also requested to bring a VCR instead of payment. Upon arriving to the residence, the undercover officers were offered sex acts in exchange for money. Later that evening officers raided the home and arrested the couple on prostitution charges. The female offender was found guilty of prostitution, a misdemeanor, and the male offender was found guilty of second degree promoting prostitution – a felony. The couple was sentenced to five days in jail and the male offender was additionally ordered to complete 200 hours of community service. Among the more serious issues associated with the area’s commercial sex market are child sex trafficking and child sexual exploitation. For example, in 2018, during unrelated incidents, Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested two Longview men accused of sending sexually explicit messages to minors through Facebook. Both men were charged with communicating with a minor for immoral purposes and booked into the Cowlitz County Jail. One of the offenders was additionally charged with soliciting a minor for lewd touching.

In more recent years, officers from the Longview Police Department have reported a spike in prostitution activities, and expressed additional concern about possible sex sales involving minors. Among their efforts to reduce the demand for prostitution in the city have been street-level reverse sting operations. Police have said that tips regarding prostitution in the Oregon Way area have prompted some of their operations. For example, in June 2012, the LPD conducted a street-level reverse sting, resulting in the arrest of two johns. To deter other would-be sex buyers, officers released the sex buyers’ names and other identifying information to the local media.

State Washington
Type City
Population 37824
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