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Medora is a city of approximately 120 residents in the western portion of North Dakota. It is the county seat of Billings County. The surrounding area is part of either Little Missouri National Grassland or Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Prostitution activity has been documented in Medora and other unincorporated areas of the county and has generated complaints to police.
Consumer-level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking and has therefore been targeted by law enforcement as a response to the problem. One operation occurred in early 2013, when the Medora Police Department—with assistance from the Billings County Sheriff’s Office and the North Dakota Highway Patrol—responded to a call at a Medora residence. The investigation resulted in the arrest of five men who allegedly attempted to solicit a prostituted woman for commercial sex. The woman was allegedly “hired to come from Dickinson to Medora, where housing was provided by the company for whom they worked.” The men were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy to hire an individual to engage in sexual activity, and their names and ages were publicly released. This wasn’t a traditional reverse sting but a proactive effort to arrest men for attempting to buy sex.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- “Medora City Council: Police Says No Results in ‘Time Consuming, Painfully Long’ Investigation into Jan. 14 Incident”, Dickinson Press, February 6 2013.
- “Possible Prostitution Investigation in Medora”, Bismarck Tribune, February 14 2013.
- “Charges Expected Soon in Medora Alleged Prostitution Case”, Bismarck Tribune, February 17 2013.
- “5 Face Charges for Alleged Prostitution Purchase in Medora”, Dickinson Press, March 7 2013.
- https://www.grandforksherald.com/five-charged-in-medora-prostitution-case (2013)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.tulalipnews.com/as-sex-trade-ramps-up-in-untamed-oil-patch-dakotas-crack-down (2013)
- N.D. works to help trafficking survivors (2014)
- Human Trafficking-Law enforcement says its a problem but stats lacking (2014)
- https://www.prairiebusinessmagazine.com/bakken-motel-managers-battle-prostitution-rental-restrictions (2015)
- Trafficking: Know what to look for (2015)
- Focus shifts to men; help sought for women in sex trade (2015)
- Connecting in a Click (2015)
- Girls, women trapped in the game (2015)