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Loudoun County has a population of approximately 375,000 residents, and is located in the metropolitan Washington DC region. Numerous cases of prostitution and child sex trafficking have been documented in the county, generating complaints from citizens and local businesses and associated with a wide range of other crimes. For example, in February 2008, the Leesburg Police Department began an investigation in response to a complaint, resulting in the arrest of a man for recruiting and transporting young women to customers he solicited within Leesburg. The pimp had been using fake business cards he created and distributed to solicit customers. The businesses did not exist, and customers who called the phone number listed on the cards would reach the pimp, who would then arrange an appointment with one of his prostituted women. In 2009 an investigation discovered that a nationwide prostitution ring was run online by a man living in a Loudoun County townhouse. The alleged pimp had access to as many as 400 women across the country, according to the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office. The suspect had recently moved to the area from California, and was living in the River Creek neighborhood just outside Leesburg. He had advertised the women online, and was charged with one count of procurement or receiving money for prostitution and was being held without bond at the Loudoun jail.
In 2016 the Sheriff’s Office’s Tactical Enforcement Unit investigated an underage prostitution ring spanning Virginia, Maryland and D.C. ran by MS-13 members for the profit of the gang’s leadership in El Salvador. A search warrant filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court gave details about an investigation into a man who was believed to be a high-ranking member of MS-13 overseeing two local cliques of the gang. The apartment housed multiple underage girls both confirmed and suspected of prostituting for the benefit of MS-13, according to the warrant. Detectives determined some of the underage girls were reported as runaways in Loudoun and surrounding counties. The girls told police that the prostitution ringleader told them he would kill them if they ever told police, according to the warrant. In August 2018, detectives with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation after receiving reports of a possible prostitution ring running out of a residence on West Nettle Tree Road, in Sterling. Women would travel from other states and meet the two men in Maryland, and then would be transported to various spots in Loudoun County for prostitution. In July 2018, both men were arrested and each charged with two felony counts of receiving money from earnings of a female prostitute and two misdemeanor counts of using vehicles to promote prostitution.
Among the tactics used to address these problems are those that focus on consumer level demand. For example, a web-based reverse sting was conducted in February, 2010. Six men who thought they were setting up meetings with prostitutes were caught in an operation in Loudoun County after the sheriff’s department ran decoy ads on popular websites. The men were arrested when they showed up at a hotel in the eastern area of Loudoun County. The six men had contacted the agency’s undercover officer through the Web sites, traveled to the hotel and negotiated money for a sexual act.
In February 2015, a Loudoun County deputy was arrested for soliciting prostitution following a sting that originated on Craigslist. He pleaded guilty to the charge in April, and was ordered to pay a $250 fine and $121 in court costs for the soliciting prostitution charge. No other details leading to his arrest were available in court documents. At the time of his arrest, the Loudoun County Sheriff said the man had recently graduated from the training academy and had been assigned as a deputy at the Adult Detention Center.
In July 2018, two men were arrested and charged with running a prostitution ring out of a residence in Sterling. Detectives with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office began the investigation in August of 2017, after receiving reports of a possible prostitution ring running out of a residence on West Nettle Tree Road. Women would travel from other states and meet the two men in Maryland, and the two pimps would take the women to various spots in Loudoun County. The men were charged with two felony counts of receiving money from earnings of a female prostitute and two misdemeanor counts of using vehicles to promote prostitution.
In October, 2018 a Loudoun County man was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of solicitation of prostitution for allegedly offering money for sex on two occasions with women he met using an online dating app. The investigation found that the suspect met females with whom he had exchanged electronic messages on Tinder, a dating app. He offered the women money in exchange for sexual acts. The women were never paid any money. The alleged instances of purchasing sex occurred at the 18600 block of Lincoln Road in Purcellville, and in Pipeline Plaza in Ashburn.
Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the county. For example, the Loudoun County deputy arrested in 2015 for soliciting prostitution had his employmnet with the County terminated in response to his arrest.
- Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office
- Loudoun County District Court
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/six-men-charged-in-loudoun (2010)
- https://www.loudountimes.com/news/loudoun-deputy-arrested-for-soliciting-prostitution (2015)
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://www.facebook.com/loudounsheriff (2014)
- https://wtop.com/dc/2015/07/teen-sold-for-sex-helps-break-up-prostitution-ring/ (2015)
- https://www.loudountimes.com/news/loudoun-deputies-investigating-gang-related-underage-prostitution-ring (2016)
- https://loudounnow.com/ashburn-man-convicted-of-sex-trafficking-community-pushes-for-education/ (2016)
- https://wtop.com/loudoun-county/2017/02/3-busted-messaging-app-extortion-scheme/ (2017)
- https://wtop.com/loudoun-county/2018/07/2-charged-with-running-prostitution-ring-in-loudoun-co/ (2018)
- https://www.loudountimes.com/news/two-northern-virginia-men-charged-in-prostitution-ring (2018)
- https://www.nbcwashington.com/Virginia-Men-Accused-of-Prostitution-Ring (2018)
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/women-ordered-from-supplier-and-brought-to-virginia-for-prostitution (2018)
- https://wtop.com/virginia/2018/03/bill-intended-to-help-virginia-cities-fight-prostitution/ (2018)