Manhattan, KS

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

Manhattan is a city of roughly 56,000 residents, located in northeastern Kansas’ Riley County, about 60 miles west of Topeka. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been reported in the community for at least ten years.

Among their efforts to curtail local sex sales, the Riley County Police Department has conducted at least two reverse stings targeting johns. In 2011, a three-day online operation using resulted in the arrests of two people for prostitution, two for promoting prostitution, and five johns. A similar two-day sting conducted in April 2012 netted 11 people– four of whom were charged with patronizing prostitution– at two local hotels.  Following both stings, the names, ages, and hometowns of the arrestees were reported in the news.

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.


Key Partners

  • Riley County Police Department

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:

Public Education:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Kansas
Type City
Population 56143
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