Maui, HI

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

The city of Maui, with approximately 160,000 residents, is the population center of Maui County, Hawaii. Prostitution, sex trafficking activity, and related crimes (such as drug offenses) have been documented in the city, and have led to complaints to the police from residents. Among the more serious crimes associated with the county’s commercial sex market are child sex trafficking and the solicitation of minors for paid sexual abuse. For example, in 2020, a statewide survey found that 57 sex trafficking victims were on the island of Maui and that one in five victims was sex trafficked before they were 18 years of age.

In their efforts to curtail the demand that drives all prostitution and sex trafficking, the Maui County Police Department has staged demand-reduction operations from undisclosed locations within the city of Maui, and in other areas of Maui County. In October 2019, thirteen men were arrested during a prostitution operation conducted at a Maui hotel by the Maui County Police Department. Members of the Vice Gambling and Morals Unit and Criminal Intelligence Unit officers targeted sex buyers by setting up a reverse sting in which a female police officer posed as a prostituted person to elicit responses from sex buyers. Over the course of the two-and-a-half-day operation, 13 men were arrested and almost $3,000 was recovered. The identities of those arrested were publicly released.

In March 2020, the Maui County Police Department led efforts to arrest offenders of internet-facilitated sexual crimes against children and identify and rescue child victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. With assistance from the Department of the Attorney General, ICAC Taskforce, the Honolulu Police Department, the Kauai Police Department, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Honolulu, the United States Secret Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a total of 26 individuals have been arrested on Maui as of March 2022.

Loss of employment is also a consequence of sex buying that occurs in the county. For example, in 2019, a Maui police officer was arrested at the Kahului Airport after a woman reported to the Maui County Police Department that the officer that had arrested her for drunk driving earlier that year, had solicited her for sex in exchange for a false testimony during her trial. According to reports, the man “pleaded guilty to several counts of honest services wire fraud and admitted that he solicited sex from a woman he arrested hours earlier in exchange for throwing his testimony.” In November 2021, he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison. As a result of his arrest, police reported that the offender was fired in November 2019, after being placed on unpaid leave in August 2019. In December 2021, the former officer was arrested during Operation Keiki Shield for allegedly attempting to solicit a 13-year-old girl online in exchange for money. Undercover officers posing as the underage girl online arrested the former officer on charges of attempted enticement of a minor. In April 2022, the former officer pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted enticement of a minor. The charge of attempted enticement of a minor provided for a mandatory minimum sentence of no less than 10 years and up to life, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of no less than five years and up to life. Sentences were imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The offender was also required to register as a sex offender, as required by the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. His identity and image were released by the Maui County Police Department as a result of the investigation.

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Loss of Employment, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Prostitution Laws:

Research and Reports:

State Hawaii
Type City
Population 164754
Comments are closed.