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Moncks Corner is a town in and the county seat of Berkeley County, SC, and has a population of approximately 14,000 residents. Moncks Corner is included within the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. In recent years, community members have noted a significant increase in prostitution and sex trafficking activity. For example, in 2015, a Berkeley County woman was arrested after officials from the Moncks Corner Police Department received a complaint that prostitution activity was occurring at the establishment. Court papers stated that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) opened an investigation that included surveillance, an undercover operation, and executing search warrants at both businesses. In December of 2018, SLED agents and Moncks Corner Police searched the trash from the spa and found evidence that included samples of what was believed to be bodily fluids. According to records, in November 2019, investigators searched a website where sex buyers review IMBs and several reviews indicated that the spa was offering prostitution services during massages. According to reports, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) made the official arrest after officers discovered that the woman was operating two IMBs in two separate counties. She was arrested with one charge of keeping a house of ill fame/brothel in Berkeley County and with two charges of prostitution in Dorchester County. In addition to her arrest, the offender’s massage therapy license was suspended by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR) in 2019 and officially relinquished in 2021.
In effort to reduce the demand for prostitution in the area, police have conducted investigations to apprehend sex buyers and sex traffickers in response to citizen complaints about prostitution in the city. For example, in 1987, in response to numerous citizen reports of suspected prostitution and drug trafficking activity at a local motel, police initiated an investigation that resulted in the arrest of nine individuals for prostitution-related charges. According to reports, a pair of adjoining rooms at a local motel were being used for prostitution activity. Once undercover officials were offered prostitution acts in exchange for money, arrests were made. One man was arrested for soliciting for prostitution, criminal conspiracy to violate the state’s prostitution laws, and a second offense possession of cocaine. Officials also confiscating the sex buyer’s car. Additionally, an adult male and a 16-year-old boy were arrested for conspiracy and six women were arrested for prostitution. The identities and ages of arrested offenders were included in reports by local media outlets.
Sex Buyer Arrests, Auto Seizure, Identity Disclosure:
- Nine arrested in prostitution sting (1987)
- Undercover agents arrest 9 on prostitution-related charges (1987)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- Woman accused of running prostitution house at Moncks Corner spa (2019)
- https://abcnews4.com/news/crime-news/woman-charged-for-reported-prostitution-at-moncks-corner-massage-parlor (2019)
- https://www.counton2.com/news/local-news/berkeley-county-news/woman-arrested-for-running-a-prostitution-business-out-of-her-moncks-corner-spa (2019)
- https://www.postandcourier.com/berkeley-independent/crime/sled-more-charges-after-arrest-in-months-long-prostitution-investigation (2019)