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Monticello is a village located in Sullivan County, within the Catskills region of New York. Its population is about 7,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. For example, in October, 2008, two people were arrested on prostitution charges while a minor was present. A police officer was patrolling de Hoyos Park on Hay Street then he found a man sitting in his car with a 13-year-old girl. When police interviewed the girl they discovered that a 26-year-old woman from Monticello was also in the vehicle and was paid to engage in sexual acts. The girl remained in the car and was encouraged to engage in sexual conduct for money. The man was charged with first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree patronizing a prostitute, both felonies. The woman was charged with second-degree promoting prostitution, a felony and other misdemeanors. In February, 2013, a Sullivan County judge sentenced a Monticello woman to probation for sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl. The sentence was for 10 years probation and ordered to register as a sex offender, over the objections of the child’s case worker and prosecutors who asked for prison time. The offender had a history of mental illness, and had been sexually abused as a child, later forced into prostitution, and had her front teeth knocked out by her now-imprisoned boyfriend.
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. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities. For example, in October, 2014, the manager of a Monticello restaurant was arrested and charged with soliciting sex in return for employment. The man was arrested following an investigation after several complaints were received from potential and current female employees. The man had propositioned the women who were seeking employment using the restaurant’s Facebook and official website pages for sex in return for employment. When arrested, Monticello police say the man intentionally tried to deceive officers by giving a different name and false date of birth in an attempt to hide the fact that he was wanted by three different Orange County police agencies on charges of Probation Violation, Criminal Impersonation and Petit Larceny. Monticello police charged him with two counts of Felony Forgery and 2 counts of Patronizing a Prostitute. Police said that at no time were any of the victims engaged in any type of prostitution activities.
In July, 2022, members of the Monticello Police Department arrested a man who was charged felony-level “patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone” and a misdemeanor for endangering the welfare of a child. The Monticello Police received a report that the suspect had approached a 16-year-old female who was sitting at a table located at the softball field of the Monticello High school in the Village of Monticello. The man offered to pay the victim money to engage in sexual activity. The female victim immediately walked away and contacted family members by phone about the incident, who then alerted Monticello Police. Responding officers located the suspect on Forestburgh Road at the intersection of Terry Lane where he was being detained by a family member of the victim. The man was arrested and in accordance with NYS Bail Reform guidelines was issued an appearance ticket to return in the Village of Monticello Justice Court on a date in August. The man’s identity was included in news reports.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.recordonline.com/walden-man-charged-with-attempting (2014)
- https://www.scdemocratonline.com//arrested-for-patronizing-a-person-for-prostitution (2022)
- https://riverreporter.com/brooklyn-man-arrested-for-patronizing-a-person-for-prostitution (2022)
- https://hudsonvalleypost.com/new-york-man-accused-of-asking-teen-for-sex-at-hudson-valley-school-monticello/ (2022)
- https://midhudsonnews.com/police-arrest-man-who-offered-16-year-old-girl-cash-for-sex/ (2022)
Background on Local Sex Trafficking, Child Endangerment:
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