Marlborough, MA

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

Marlborough is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, with approximately 42,000 residents. It is located near Worcester and 25 miles west of Boston. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates result in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses.

To combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the area, local law enforcement agencies have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex, which provides the revenue stream driving all commercial sex and trafficking. In July 2018, eight men were arrested by police who were conducting a web-based reverse sting in Marlborough. Police posted an advertisement on an undisclosed website, and when the potential sex buyers called, a female officer answered and posed as a woman engaged in prostitution. After negotiating a price, the sex buyers were directed to a local hotel as a meeting place, which police declined to name. The buyers who arrived and brought the agreed-upon money were then greeted by officers and arrested. All eight men were arraigned in Marlborough District Court, charged with sexual conduct for a fee, and had subsequent court appearances scheduled. The identities of the sex buyers were included in news releases. The operation was conducted by the Marlborough Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police’s High-Risk Victim Unit. The state police have conducted similar stings throughout the state, and had contacted the Marlborough Police about taking part in this operation.

Key Partners

  • Marlborough Police Department
  • Massachusetts State Police
    • High Risk Victim Unit
State Massachusetts
Type City
Population 41793
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