North Conway is a city of approximately 2,300 residents, located in the White Mountains region of eastern Hew Hampshire. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been documented in the region. For example, a 14-year-old girls was abducted in Conway in Oct. 2013, as she walked home from Kennett High School. The man held her at his Gorham home and abused her as a sex slave for nine months. He had also manufactured counterfeit bills and used them to pay prostituted women, one of whom tried to use the fake money to pay for items at Walmart and was arrested. He was eventually arrested and charged with 182 charges of kidnapping, criminal threatening, criminal use of defense weapon, felonious use of a firearm, indecent exposure, falsifying physical evidence, sale of controlled drug, aggravated felonious sexual assault and felonious sexual assault. He pleaded guilty to seven separate criminal charges and was sentenced to 45-90 years in a state prison outside of New Hampshire.
Some of the police activity responding to such issues locally has addressed demand. In January 2019 a Kennett High School teacher’s aide was fired after he was arrested on charges of uploading images of child pornography and using them to lure potential victims. The resident of North Conway had been working with special needs students. The New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force teamed with Conway police on this investigation that began when a social media provider gave a tip to law enforcement. Investigators traced the tipped internet address to the man’s home, and following a search warrant he was arrested after police found images of a minor engaged in sexual conduct. He was charged with two counts of child pornography possession, each a felony that carries a prison term of 7½ to 15 years. The man’s identity was disclosed publicly. While not a traditional reverse sting, we have listed it as a web-based sting since it was not an opportunistic arrest, but resulted from a concerted effort to investigate, arrest, and disclose the identity of a consumer engaged in sexually exploiting children.
In April, 2019 a 21-year-old man negotiating sex in exchange for compensation online turned himself in to police shortly after he was informed of an open warrant on a prostitution charge. The arrests occurred when a Conway Police officer was on patrol in North Conway in Feb. 2019, and approached the car because he thought it seemed suspicious. Police said the woman was behind the wheel of a car in a parking lot of a North Conway gas station. The sex buyer was in the passenger seat. The woman in the car was charged with two counts of prostitution, along with several other charges, and later failed to appear at a scheduled April 23 court date on those charges. She was charged with operating after revocation or suspension, then disobeying a police officer and resisting arrest or detention. The identity of the sex buyer was eventually publicly disclosed. This was an opportunistic arrest of a sex buyer, and not a proactive sting operation, but the disclosure of the man’s identity in news releases constitutes shaming.
- Conway Police Department
- New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force
Arrest of Sex Buyer and Shaming:
- https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/local/vehicle-stop-leads-to-prostitution-arrests (2019)
- https://www.unionleader.com/news/crime/conway-teacher-s-aide-fired-after-arrest-on-child-porn (2019)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://www.conwaydailysun.com/news/local/conway-abduction-survivor-to-appear-on-abc (2018)
- https://www.vnews.com/Abby-Hernandez-survivor-story-ABC (2018)
- https://www.wmur.com/case-timeline-nathaniel-kibby-pleads-guilty-in-girl-s-kidnapping (2019)
- https://www.yellowpages.com/north-conway-nh/escorts (2019)
- http://escorter.pro/prostitutes/913-north-conway/ (2019)