Loveland, CO

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

Loveland is a city of roughly 82,000 residents, situated about 60 miles north of Denver, CO in Larimer County, CO. For at least two decades, instances of prostitution, particularly those arranged online and conducted within city hotels and adult-oriented businesses, have been reported throughout the county. Several cases of prostitution, solicitation of prostitution, commercial sexual exploitation, and child sex trafficking have also been documented.

The Loveland Police Department, often in collaboration with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, use reverse sting operations to arrest offenders with solicitation and prostitution charges. Street-level reverse sting operations have frequently been used as a demand reduction tactic in the city. For example, in areas of the city where prostitution is more common law enforcement officials pose as decoys on street corners, highway corridors, and/or conduct raids at illicit massage businesses (IMBs), arresting individuals driving the demand for commercial sex (sex buyers). Charges of solicitation and prostitution require offenders to pay fines, complete “john school” classes, in addition to potentially having to serve a sentence. The Larimer County Sheriff’s Office collaborates or leads the majority of reverse sting operations within county cities and municipalities. As a result of these operations, the identities of arrested sex buyers are often released by law enforcement officials to local media outlets. For example, in 2019, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office coordinated eight arrests along the Interstate 25 corridor, between Loveland and Wellington, issuing citations for eight men on charges connected to prostitution. According to the LCSO spokesman Jered Kramer, “Eight men were charged with patronizing a prostitute, a Class 1 misdemeanor; and soliciting for prostitution, a Class 3 misdemeanor. The men reside in Northern Colorado and Wyoming communities, including Loveland, Greeley and Windsor.” The identities, ages, and charges of cited offenders were included in reports by local media outlets.

Loss of employment is also a consequence of buying sex in the city. For example, in 1996, two officers from the Loveland Police Department and one deputy from the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office were suspended after allegedly soliciting sex from prostituted women during a raid at a massage parlor in Fort Collins. According to reports, the three officers entered the massage parlor at different times, each wearing a radio transmitter, and eight days later, three women were arrested. The officers were not instructed in engage in sexual contact with the women during the operation. Upon the discovery of their engagement, the officers were first placed on administrative leave, but later reports confirmed that all three officers had been suspended. In April 1996, the Loveland Chief of Police died by suicide. An investigation into the Chief’s death confirmed that he was not involved in the incident at the massage parlor, but the stress of the officers’ suspension and the case were factors in his death.

John School: First Offender Restoration Initiative

In Fort Collins, Loveland, and Estes Park police most frequently arrest sex buyers on a “Soliciting for Prostitution” charge, a class 3 misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 6 months in the Larimer County Jail and a fine not to exceed $5,000. Since late 2017, the court may impose the requirement that the person charged complete a “john school” class (First Offender Restorative Initiative – FORI),an 8-hour, 1-day mandatory session for first-time offenders. FORI is an educational alternative sentencing program designed for men charged with patronizing and/or soliciting a prostitute. The program is an interactive seminar that includes education and “exposure to the realities of prostitution and sex trafficking in Northern Colorado.” As of 2021, the program is delivered by local therapist Chris Bruno, and was developed in partnership with multiple agencies in the Fort Collins area, including the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office, Fort Collins Police Department, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, and a local anti-trafficking organization called Restoration Counseling.

The fee for the First Offender Restoration Initiative class is $375. Classes begin at 8 a.m. and finish no later than 6 p.m. Specific locations are announced one week prior to the class to maintain confidentiality. Only those deemed eligible by the courts may attend. Attendance to the entire class is mandatory in order to receive the Certificate of Completion. In many cases, participants who successfully complete the course have their charges reduced or dismissed.

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

John School: First Offender Restoration Initiative

Employment Loss, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Colorado
Type City
Population 81774
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