Mount Vernon, NY
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Mount Vernon is the third largest and most densely populated city in Westchester County, New York with a population of roughly 74,000 residents. It is located adjacent to Yonkers, Bronx, and New Rochelle. This activity and its ancillary crimes has resulted in complaints to local law enforcement from residents and businesses. Violence against prostituted women has also been well documented, including a case in which an unlicensed cab driver picked up a woman, claiming she was engaged in prostitution, and was later found guilty of first-degree attempted criminal sexual act, rape in the third degree, and unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and 20 years probation. In February 2014, an Elmsford man was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison after being found guilty of raping and physically assaulting four women, some at knifepoint. Two of the women had been prostituted women he told detectives he contacted on backpage.com. Additionally, in July 2014, two Mount Vernon men were arrested for kidnapping a prostituted woman from Queens and taking her to Elmsford for purposes of sex trafficking. According to reports, the men had responded to the woman’s ad on backpage.com, and kidnapped her upon arriving to the hotel.
Among the more serious issues associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. For example, in July 2022, federal authorities arrested a Mount Vernon man on charges of sex trafficking a minor and using interstate facilities to promote sex trafficking and prostitution. It was alleged that in January and February of 2022, the man had recruited a minor to engage in commercial sexual activity and caused her to do so on several occasions in hotels in the region. He was charged with sex trafficking a minor, which carries a prison sentence of from 10 years to life, and use of interstate facilities to promote unlawful activity, which carries up to five years in prison.
In an effort to reduce demand for illegal commercial sex, the Mount Vernon Police Department has conducted reverse stings since at least 1992, if not earlier. These operations are often done in response to residential complaints about an increase in prostitution activity in their neighborhoods. For example, in 1991, the Mount Vernon Police Department conducted a street-level reverse sting that resulted in arrest of four male sex buyers. The sting was conducted in response to residential complaints about prostitution in the area. The identities of arrested sex buyers were included in reports by local media outlets.
MVPD officers have at times coordinated efforts with their counterparts in the NYPD’s Bronx Division and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety. For example, in August 2014, MVPD and WCDPS officers collaborated to conduct a two-day street-level operation that resulted in the arrest of 15 male sex buyers. Thirteen vehicles were also seized during the reverse sting. Following their arrests, the identities of the 15 arrested male sex buyers were released to the public.
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- 4 men face charges of soliciting prostitutes (1992)
- 6 men arrested in prostitution sting (1998)
- “The Week; Arrests and Cars Seized in Prostitution Crackdown”, New York Times, April 8 2007.
- “10 Johns Arrested in Mount Vernon Prostitution Sweep”, White Plains Journal News, October 20 2008.
- “PD: 14 Suspects Netted in Mount Vernon Prostitution Sweep”, FiOS1 Lower Hudson Valley, July 8 2014.
- “15 Arrested in Mount Vernon Prostitution Sting”, Mount Vernon Daily Voice, August 5 2014.
- “Mount Vernon Prostitution Crackdown Nets 15 Arrests”, White Plains Journal News, August 5 2014.
- “Prostitution Arrests in Mount Vernon Continue”, Mid-Hudson News, August 5 2014.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Editorial: New Sex-Trafficking Law Overdue”, White Plains Journal News, April 24 2012.
- https://midhudsonnews.com/mount-vernon-man-charged-with-sex-trafficking-of-minor/ (2022)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
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