Northborough, MA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Northborough is a city of about 15,000 residents in central Massachusetts, near Worcester. Prostitution and sex trafficking in the city appear to be concentrated in hotels. For example, in 2015 a 28-year-old woman and her 32-year-old sister were arrested on prostitution charges after police said they agreed to have sex with an undercover police officer for money at a motel on Southwest Cutoff in Northborough, after police received a tip that one of the women was engaged in prostitution at that location.

In September 2012, a web-based reverse sting was conducted that focused on men attempting to buy access to sexually abuse girls under 18 years of age. A female trooper from the Massachusetts State Police posted an online ad for sex, fielded phone calls from interested sex buyers, and arranged to meet at a local hotel. A multi-agency team including the state police, the Northborough Police Department, the Fitchburg Police Department, and the Worcester Police Department arrested eight men on charges of attempting to purchase sex from a minor. Each was given a court date and released on their own recognizance. The names, ages, and hometowns of the offenders were released to the media.

In September 2013, reports surfaced that two underaged girls (ages 14 and 16) who were victims of sex trafficking had been recovered from a local motel, and one adult male had been arrested at the scene. The man was charged with “rape, rape of a child under 16, indecent assault and battery (two counts), and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (two counts).” At the time of his arrest, the man’s name and mugshot were distributed to the local media, but it was not made clear whether he had been pimping/trafficking the girls or attempting to purchase sex from them. In November 2013, a NPD detective stated that the offender, a Worcester cab driver, had “allegedly had sex with [the] two girls.” Following his arraignment in August 2014, the man was charged with multiple “counts of child rape aggravated by age difference, two counts each of sexual conduct for a fee and trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, and single counts of posing a minor in a state of nudity and possession of child pornography,” and was held on $100,000 bail.

In January 2017, ten men were arrested for attempting to buy sex with police decoys in a one-day reverse sting in Northborough, in an operation coordinated by multiple police agencies to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women. The focus of this operation was to attack the demand side of sex trafficking. The 10 men were charged with sexual conduct for a fee and arraigned in Westborough District Court. Participating agencies included the Massachusetts State Police High Risk Victim Unit, the Northborough, Shrewsbury, Westborough, and Southborough police departments, and the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office.

In January 2018, two men were arrested for attempting to buy sex in Northborough, and their identities were included in news reports.

Key Partners

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State Massachusetts
Type City
Population 15101
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