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Midvale is a city in Salt Lake County, Utah. It is part of the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Statistical Area, with approximately 36,000 residents. Prostitution has been documented in the city, as have cases of the commercial sexual exploitation of minors and the targeted assaults on women engaged in prostitution.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. In an effort to identify and apprehend commercial sex buyers, the Midvale Police Department has conducted web-based reverse stings since at least 2002. That year, MPD officers reported they had recently completed an investigation during which they
“…placed their own [web] ad for a private dancer.” Soon after placing the listing, the MPD commented that “phone calls rolled in almost immediately and lasted from dusk to dawn. All were from men interested in hiring the ‘dancer.’ Appointments were made with several of them, who later offered to pay an undercover officer money for sex and were arrested.”
The identities of the arrested sex buyers were not publicized.
In January 2009, officers raided a city massage parlor suspected of prostitution activity. While apprehending the women working at the business, law enforcement arrested one sex buyer who was “caught” with a massage parlor employee. The sex buyer was charged with solicitation and had his identity released to the public. In June 2009, the Salt Lake Tribune reported the man had pled no contest, “paid a $582 court fee and completed a counseling class,” with the understanding that “the case will be dismissed” if he did not re-offend within 30 days.
Midvale Police have also shadowed Salt Lake City Police during street-level reverse stings in that neighboring city.
- Midvale Police Department
- Salt Lake City Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings:
- “New Approaches to an Old Profession; Prostitution Moves from Utah Streets to Classifieds,” Deseret News, June 15 2003.
Sex Trafficking, Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area, Identity Disclosure:
- “Trio Faces Charges of Rape, Exploitation of Runaway Girls,” Deseret News, March 19 1997.
- “Addict Gets Prison Term for Using 2 Runaway Girls,” Deseret News, June 23 1997.
- “S.L. Targeting Root of Crime: Pimps,” Deseret News, September 16 1997.
- “Man, 2 Women Face Charges in S.L. Prostitution Case,” Deseret News, October 26 1997.
- “David Archuleta’s Father Cited in Prostitution Sting,” ABC/KTVX-TV 4, June 17 2009.
- “David Archuleta’s Father Pleads No Contest in Prostitution Sting,” Salt Lake Tribune, June 17 2009.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Woman Is Charged in Prostitution Ring,” Deseret News, December 13 2002.
- “Police Arrest 20 in Escort Sting,” Deseret News, January 22 2006.
- “Police Arrest Three during Prostitution Sting,” Deseret News, August 4 2008.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: