Perkins is a city of about 2,800 residents located in southern Payne County, Oklahoma. It is in north-central Oklahoma, situated along the Interstate 35 corridor and about equidistant from Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Prostitution and sex trafficking are known to occur in the town and throughout Payne County, and generate complaints to police and a host of associated crimes.
Police responses to local commercial sex have included attempts to combat demand. For example, in November, 2013, the Perkins Police Department collaborated with the Payne County Sheriff’s Office, Stillwater Police Department, and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics during a two-day reverse sting in Stillwater. The operation resulted in 26 people arrested and charged with prostitution offenses, including 15 male sex buyers. The arrestees faced charges including prostitution, solicitation for the services of a prostituted woman, and aiding and abetting prostitution. Some arrestees were charged with additional, non-prostitution related offenses, including accessing a computer to violate state statutes, possession of marijuana; resisting arrest; public intoxication; possession of drug paraphernalia; and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. A report in December 2013 said that an additional six men were arrested during a prostitution sting in Stillwater. The men were charged with soliciting prostitution after allegedly placing money on a countertop at a Stillwater hotel in exchange for sex.
In October, 2019, a Perkins businessman was arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution, violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act, and making obscene electronic communications, for his communications with a high school girl who had sought employment in an automotive business. On Oct. 10 an 18-year-old girl arrived at the Perkins Police Department to report disturbing texts and snapchat conversations she had with a man after speaking to him about a job opening he had at his office at an automotive shop in Perkins. The girl said had heard about a potential job opening in the business and took a friend with her to check to see if the business was legitimate and potentially complete an application. The girl, who attends school, spoke with the man at the auto shop and the following day the man asked for her Snapchat account to continue discussions about the job. She began receiving sexual messages about her appearance. She reported this to the police department after then man sent via Snapchat a screenshot of himself, and a message that the girl could earn money if she sent him photographs of her body. While police were chatting in an undercover capacity as (the girl), the man sent a video of him flipping through several $100 bills and said the stack of money consisted of $10,000. The man offered to pay $100 to look at her bare body, another $100 to “cuddled for a bit” and if they “did more, he would pay me more.” The man was arrested and charged in Payne County District Court with misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution and making obscene electronic communications and a felony count of unlawful access to a computer to violate Oklahoma statutes. Unlawful access to a computer to violate Oklahoma statues is punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine of not more than $5,000 or both. Soliciting prostitution is punishable by imprisonment for 30 days to one year and/or a fine up to $25,000. Making obscene electronic communications is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Perkins Police Department
- Payne County Sheriff’s Office
- Stillwater Police Department
- Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics
Arrest and Shaming of Sex Buyers:
- https://www.news9.com/clip/9521414/26-arrested-in-stillwater-prostitution-sting (2013)
- https://okcfox.com/archive/stillwater-police-arrest-26-for-prostitution-during-two-day-sting (2013)
- https://www.1600kush.com/news/perkins-businessman-charged-with-soliciting-prostitution (2019)
- https://www.stwnewspress.com/news/stillwater-man-charged-with-soliciting-prostitution-online (2019)
- https://kfor.com/2019/10/11/oklahoma-man-facing-charges-after-allegedly-soliciting-prostitution/ (2019)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Suspect Charged in Rape of Girl,” Tulsa World, June 1 2000.
- “Ogden Man Faces Sex Charges in Oklahoma; Prosecutors Say He Helped Girl Run Away from Home,” Deseret News, June 5 2000.
Background on Prostitution in the Area: