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Montgomery is the state capital of Alabama and has a population of roughly 200,000. The local commercial sex market has been linked to a wide range of serious crimes, such as child sex trafficking, and the rape and assault of prostituted women. For example, a 2008 trial provided an overview of a serial rape case. Since 2002, police had investigated allegations that a local resident targeted prostituted women and raped them at gunpoint. He was arrested four times, but each time the victims did not appear for the grand jury hearings. Prosecutors managed to obtain a conviction in April 2008 for a 2006 incident when the man attacked a woman walking down the street who was not involved in prostitution, forcing the victim to have sex at gunpoint. Police and prosecutors describe prostitution as “incredibly dangerous,” with prostituted persons at high risk of rape, assault, robbery, and homicide. In December, 2022, a Montgomery man was sentenced U.S. District Court to five years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $950,000 in restitution for sex trafficking scheme involving forced prostitution. In June, a jury convicted the man of sex trafficking five victims by force, fraud and coercion. The jury also found him guilty of sex trafficking a minor, and three counts of coercing and enticing an individual to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution purposes. The offender targeted vulnerable victims who struggled with substance abuse issues, and then manipulated their substance abuse problems for his benefit. He increased the victims’ use of heroin and encouraged them to use it intravenously. He then withheld heroin from the victims, causing extremely painful withdrawal sickness, if they violated one of his many controlling rules or otherwise did not provide services to enough commercial sex buyers. He also used violence, threats of violence, and threats to send embarrassing information, photos, or videos to the victims’ loved ones in order to coerce compliance with his rules and to ensure that the victims provided him with sufficient money from prostitution. In addition, he regulated how much and when the victims could eat and confiscated their identity documents and credit cards as part of his coercive scheme to control them. Two co-defendants previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.
In an effort to reduce demand for prostitution that drives all sex trafficking, police have conducted periodic reverse stings. For example, during a four-day sting occurring in 2012, 35 individuals were arrested. The majority were men arrested for solicitation of prostitution. The identities of those arrested are publicized.
- Montgomery Police Department
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Police Sting Nets 17 Arrests,” Montgomery Advertiser, April 15 1998.
- “15 Arrested in West Montgomery Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 11 1998.
- “Arrests Made in Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, June 1 2001.
- “Local Men Arrested in Prostitution Bust,” Greenville Advocate, April 10 2002.
- “23 Arrested in Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, March 23 2004.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets Official’s Husband,” Huntsville Times, March 28 2004.
- “Solicitation Charges against Sawyer Dropped,” Gadsden Times, May 16 2004.
- “8 Women, 6 Men Arrested Caught in Sex Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 3 2008.
- “4 Men Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, March 5 2009.
- “10 Men Arrested in Montgomery Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, September 2 2009.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Prostitution Ring Uncovered,” Gadsden Times, November 1 1973.
- “Slain Girl Said Part of Prostitution Ring,” Tuscaloosa News, November 1 1973.
- https://www.alabamanews.net/montgomery-man-sentenced-in-sex-trafficking-scheme-involving-forced-prostitution/ (2022)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “23 Arrested on Prostitution Charges,” Montgomery Advertiser, November 6 1995.
- “Sex Trade Sting Nets 11 Arrests,” Montgomery Advertiser, August 26 2006.
- “Seven Arrested in Sex Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, April 12 2008.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 12 Arrests,” Montgomery Advertiser, September 20 2008.
- “Police Prostitution Sting Nets Ten Arrests,” Montgomery Advertiser, December 19 2008.
- “Seven Charged in Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, March 10 2009.
- “7 Women Charged in Montgomery Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, September 11 2009.
- “5 Women Arrested in Montgomery Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, February 11 2010.
- “3 Montgomery Women Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Montgomery Advertiser, July 14 2010.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
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