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Oak Grove is city in Christian County, Kentucky, with a population of about 7,300. Prostitution, sex trafficking, and associated violence have been well documented in the area. For example, in September 2016, police received a complaint about a woman being held against her will at a hotel in Oak Grove. After investigating, detectives determined that three women were actually held against their will and forced to have sex with several men. As a result, two people were arrested and charged with Unlawful Imprisonment, Human Trafficking, and Promoting Prostitution. An affidavit for a search warrant for the hotel stated that the victim said she had been paid for multiple sexual encounters with officers from the Oak Grove Police Department. The investigation into an alleged prostitution ring was traced to a veteran officer in a small-town police department where the patrol supervisor was arrested on rape, sodomy, assault and other charges. Two alleged accomplices were also arrested and eventually charged with unlawful imprisonment, human trafficking and promoting prostitution. The Oak Grove investigation began when state police were tipped off by an alleged victim. Troopers found that three adult women were being held against their will and forced to have sex with men at a local motel.
In February, 2018, two people were arrested and charged with human trafficking of a minor after a missing juvenile was found in Oak Grove when police stopped a vehicle for operating with one headlight. The driver of the vehicle had a small amount of methamphetamine in his pocket and advised the officer there were syringes in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle found methamphetamine, and the 15-year-old who was reported missing and a second female passenger were also in the vehicle. The woman admitted to being engaged in prostitution and stated she met the juvenile at a hotel in Georgia before bringing her to Kentucky. Based on the information provided by the officer, there was probable cause for a human trafficking charge. The drier was charged with human trafficking (victim under 18 years of age), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, and operating on a suspended license and driving with one headlight. The woman was charged with human trafficking (victim under 18 years of age), first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Demand reduction tactics have been used in Oak Grove, including the arrest of sex buyers and disclosure of their identities. In a 1994 case of two slain women who had been prostituted in Oak Grove, the brothel’s madam publicly accused two allegedly corrupt police officers of the killings. A seven-year investigation by the Kentucky State Police resulted in charges against the two police officers, who both left their positions, as well as a third man. One of the former officers was a detective who appeared at the Oak Grove crime scene to investigate the murders. Prostituted women alleged to investigators that the arrested officers had been local sex buyers.
Arrest of Sex Buyers; Disclosure of Identities:
- https://www.cnn.com/kentucky-prostitute-murders-cold-case (2013)
- https://www.kentuckynewera.com/web/oak grove police hush money to keep brothel open (2016)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://clarksvillenow.com/oak-grove-police-sergeant-2-others-arrested-prostitution-investigation/ (2016)
- https://www.kentuckynewera.com/web/oak grove police paid to keep brothel open (2017)
- https://www.the-messenger.com/news/local/article (2017)
- https://www.kentuckynewera.com/ep/news/pair accused human trafficking juvenile (2018)
- https://www.wpsdlocal6.com/oak-grove-police-sergeant-and-two-others-arrested-prostitution (2019)
- https://www.kfvs12.com/people-arrested-prostitution-undercover-operation/ (2019)
Documented Violence Against Prostituted Persons:
- https://unsolvedmysteries.fandom.com/Candy_Belt_and_Gloria_Ross (1994)
- https://unsolved.com/gallery/candy-belt-gloria-ross/ (1994)
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/kentucky-soap-opera-unleashed-after-double-slaying-at-brothel (1997)
- https://www.kentuckynewera.com/web/news (2012)
- https://www.cnn.com/justice/kentucky-prostitute-murders-cold-case (2013)
- https://www.wkms.org/jury-acquits-3-men-from-1994-west-kentucky-brothel-murder-trial (2016)
- https://www.wdrb.com/former-kentucky-police-officer-charged-with-killing-two-prostitutes-files-wrongful-incarceration-lawsuit (2017)