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Muskogee is a city of approximately 37,000 residents, located approximately 50 miles southeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas since at least the 1980s. 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 problems associated with commercial sex in the area include child sex trafficking.
In April 2013, two owners of a strip club were charged after their arrest for alleged involvement in prostitution. The married couple were arrested as part of a three-month undercover investigation into their business, a club off of Oklahoma 51, west of the Muskogee Turnpike. Police started the undercover operation on the bar after they received a tip about illegal activities, and discovered some prostitution activity. At the time there appeared to be the only woman in the building and that she was acting as the club’s “prostitute.” Computers seized at the business had pictures of more women who may have been prostituted there at some point. At the time, investigators said charges could be filed against customers of the club after the evidence was examined. In a separate case in June 2018, a jury recommended that a newly convicted woman spend 33 years in state prison after being convicted in a child sex abuse case. The woman was convicted on one count of “enabling child sexual abuse,” for her role in selling a teenage relative for prostitution “services.” The case met the legal definition of child sex trafficking.
While there are no reports of police conducting proactive sting operations targeting sex buyers in Muskogee, men who have been arrested through other means for buying sex, and have had their identities released to the public. In June 2018, a man pleaded guilty to several charges after prosecutors said he offered three teenage girls Sonic food for sex. The man pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in child prostitution, soliciting sexual conduct with a minor by use of technology and performing a lewd act in the presence of a minor. He was arrested in August 2017 after Muskogee Police said he solicited three girls – ages 13, 16 and 17 – and offered them food from Sonic in exchange for access to sexually abuse them.
- Muskogee Police Department
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.kjrh.com/warrant-issued-after-muskogee-man-allegedly-offered-sonic-in-exchange-for-sex-with-minors (2017)
- https://www.fox23.com/police-muskogee-man-offered-sonic-food-to-teens-for-sexual-favors (2017)
- http://www.newson6.com/man-charged-with-offering-muskogee-teens-sonic-food-for-sex (2017)
- https://muskogeenow.com/one-convicted-of-molesting-little-girl-another-of-trying-to-trade-sonic-for-sex-with-little-girls (2017)
- http://www.newson6.com/man-pleads-guilty-in-muskogee-tots-for-sex-case (2018)
Background on Local Prostitution: