Norton, MA

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Norton is a city of approximately 20,000 residents, in southern Massachusetts, near the cities of Taunton and Attleboro.  Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of the county. Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies in their attempts to prevent and respond to these crimes. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, has conducted web-based reverse stings.

In January 2019, three men were arrested in a web-based prostitution sting, with the arrests occurring at a local hotel.  The men face charges of soliciting for sex after responding to an online escort advertisement and traveling to a hotel near the Norton/Taunton border, in Norton near Route 495. Detectives placed advertisements on websites offering escort services and individuals seeking sex. An undercover police officer then responded to texts sent by the men who inquired about the ad, and arranged meetings at the hotel to exchange money for sex. The reverse sting was done with the cooperation of hotel management.  The three sex buyers were scheduled to be arraigned in Attleboro District Court on charges of sexual conduct for a fee, solicitation for a prostitute and attempt to commit a crime. Norton police were assisted by members of the Northern Bristol County Drug Task Force (which includes detectives from Norton, Attleboro, Easton, Mansfield, Raynham and Taunton).

In May 2019, five men were arrested in a reverse sting at the same hotel, on South Washington St., Norton.  The sting was conducted with the cooperation of hotel management. Detectives placed advertisements on websites that offer escort services and individuals seeking sex (skipthegames and MegaPersonals). An undercover police officer answered the texts sent by the defendants, arranging meetings for sex for a fee. They arrested individuals who answered the ad and appeared at the arranged location to buy sex.  All five men were charged with sexual conduct for a fee, solicitation for prostitution and attempt to commit a crime. One was also charged with resisting arrest. They were all scheduled to be arraigned in Attleboro District Court. Police seized a total of $1,000 cash from the men.  In Massachusetts, soliciting prostitution carries a maximum punishment of 2½ years in jail and a $5,000 fine.  One of the men eventually accepted the option of pretrial probation, one forfeited $72 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, and another was placed on pretrial probation and was ordered to perform eight hours of community service and forfeit $2,119 cash, according to court records. Assisting Norton Police were members of the Northern Bristol County Drug Task Force.

 

Key Partners

  • Norton Police Department
  • Northern Bristol County Drug Task Force
    • Attleboro Police Department
    • Easton Police Department
    • Mansfield Police Department
    • Norton Police Department
    • Raynham Police Department
    • Taunton Police Departments
  • Attleboro District Court

Key Sources

Reverse Stings, Shaming:

Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:

State Massachusetts
Type City
Population 19882
Location
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