Monmouth County is the northernmost county within New Jersey, and has a population of over 625,000. It is located across the harbor south of lower Manhattan (NYC) and near New Brunswick and Middletown, NJ. Cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the cities (such as Hazlet, Asbury Park, Wall Township) unincorporated areas of the county, generating complaints from citizens and local businesses, and associated with a wide range of other crimes.
Among the tactics used to address these problems are those that focus on consumer level demand. For example, a Hazlet police started investigating of a Spa in January of 2018 occurred after they received numerous reports of “illegal acts” at that location. Hazlet police visited the spa multiple times during the months of January and February. On February 16, a 66-year-old-man from East Brunswick was arrested and charged with engaging in prostitution. On Feb. 27, two more men were arrested at the spa: A 26-year-old-man from Old Bridge and a 46-year-old-man from Keyport were both charged with engaging in prostitution. Police did not immediately release any of the names of those arrested, but they were eventually publicly disclosed. A member of the East Brunswick Board of Education resigned after revelations he was one of the men charged with patronizing a prostitute in Hazlet. He pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct offense, and paid a $1,000 fine. Several substantial reverse stings have been conducted in Asbury Park, resulting in the arrest of 12 – 16 sex buyers each. The identities of the men arrested have been routinely publicized. In Wall Township the Police Department and New Jersey State Police have conducted web-based reverse stings to arrest sex buyers. An operation occurred in 2014 was staged at an unnamed hotel along Route 35. Fifteen johns, including one twice-convicted sex offender, were arrested as a result. All had their names and arrest photos released to the public. Following the sting, the Wall Township Police Department released a statement stating that it “will continue to conduct quality-of-life checks within the area and make it more difficult for those who engage in criminal activity to operate out of any [local] motels.”
- Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
- Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
- Wall Township Police Departments
- Hazlet Police Department
- New Jersey State Police
Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- “Police Charge 22 Men in Prostitution Sting”, Asbury Park Press, March 27 2001.
- “33 Charged in Prostitution Sweep”, Asbury Park Press, May 24 2001.
- “18 Arrested on Prostitution Charges in Asbury Park”, Asbury Park Press, June 15 2007.
- “Undercover Detail Leads to 25 Solicitation Arrests”, Asbury Park Press, July 23 2008.
- “Asbury Cops Start Big Weekend with Prostitution Sweep”, Asbury Park Press, May 22 2009.
- “Asbury Park Prostitution Busts Include Man Who Offered $10, Box of Tastykakes for Sex”, Star-Ledger, April 26 2010.
- “Asbury Park Police Arrest 16 in Prostitution Sting”, Asbury Park Press, June 23 2010.
- “Motel Detail: Men Arrested for Prostitution Related Charges”, Press Release, Wall Township Police Department, April 8 2014.
- “Prostitution Sweep Nets 15 Men at Wall Motel”, NJ.com, April 8 2014.
- “15 Men Involved in Wall Prostitution Arrests; Names Released”, Wall Patch, April 9 2014.
- “Manahawkin Man among 15 Charged with Prostitution; Names Released”, Barnegat-Manahawkin Patch, April 9 2014.
- “Names Released of Men Facing Prostitution Charges in Wall; Shore Residents, Sex Offender among 15 Men Facing Charges”, Asbury Park Press, April 9 2014.
- “Twice-Convicted Sex Offender among 15 Men Charged in Wall Prostitution Sweep”, NJ.com, April 9 2014.
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking within the County:
- “Three Women Arrested for Prostitution; Wall Township Police Make Sweep of Area Motels”, Wall Patch, August 24 2011.
- “21yo Asbury Resident Arrested for Prostitution”, Press Release, Wall Township Police Department, February 23 2012.
- “Wall Township Sweep Leads to Prostitution Charges for Hotel Employee”, NJ.com, March 18 2014.
- “Quality of Life Investigations”, Press Release, Wall Township Police Department, March 19 2014.