Park County, WY
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Park County is a largely rural area in Wyoming, with a total population of about 30,000 in its towns and unincorporated areas. Although prostitution is not known to be widespread, cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been investigated in the area. Among the more serious concerns expressed by community members about the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.
In effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the area, the Park County Sheriff’s Office and the Cody Police Department have conducted investigations and apprehended sex buyers in the county. For example, in September 2018, deputies with the PCSO and the CPD arrested a 79-year-old Cody man, who was then charged by the Park County District Attorney’s Office with attempting to coerce a minor into prostitution in exchange for monetary compensation. The minor said she started receiving letters after she was loaned a $4,000 car from the defendant, and the man attempted to negotiate sex with her in exchange for payments on the vehicle. Specifically, the minor alleges the defendant told her the car would be paid off if she engaged in commercial sex with him three times. The affidavit goes on to say the man hand delivered the letters to the minor and promised her “millions of dollars in his will if she became a prostitute”, in which he would pay her $500 per hour. The felony charge was handed down in Park County Circuit Court, and if convicted, could result in up to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. The man was also accused of forcibly kissing a minor, a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and $750.
In September 2021, nearly three years after charges were filed, the sex buyer pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. If this plea were to be approved by the judge, the sex buyer would avoid jail time, receive outpatient mental therapy for the rest of his life, and visit with his attorney monthly. Additionally, the offender would not be allowed to be alone around minor females unless another adult is present. He would have to advise his attorney whenever he is leaving the State of Wyoming.
- Park County Sheriff’s Office
- Park County District Attorney’s Office
- Cody Police Department
- Park County Circuit Court
Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:
- Cody Police Department News Release (2018)
- http://www.codyenterprise.com/local/article (2018)
- https://mybighornbasin.com/geissler-arrested-for-misdeeds-with-a-minor/ (2018)
- https://www.powelltribune.com/cody-man-awaiting-trial-on-prostitution-allegations-re-arrested (2019)
- https://www.codyenterprise.com/local/article (2020)
- https://www.powelltribune.com/judge-agrees-to-bench-trial-for-cody-man-charged-with-promoting-prostitution (2021)
- https://trib.com/news/state-and-regional//judge-man-who-urged-girl-to-become-prostitute-is-mentally-ill/article (2021)
- https://www.wyomingnews.com/wyoming-briefs-for-july-26-2021-man-admits (2021)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
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