Rainbow City is a city in Etowah County, Alabama, and has a population of about 9,600. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and in unincorporated areas of Etowah County. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. To identify and apprehend local sex buyers driving the prostitution and sex trafficking markets, the Rainbow City Police Department has collaborated with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office on reverse stings. For example, in March 2014 a revers resulted in the arrest of six men, and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office released the names and mugshots of all of the arrestees.
In April, 2019, a 71-year-old Rainbow City resident was arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution by Rainbow City police. The man had reported an attempt at extortion by a prostituted woman, but the subsequent investigation led to him being charged with soliciting. The man reported to police that a prostitute he saw eight years ago began texting him several years ago demanding that he pay her to keep quiet about their encounters. The man allegedly set up plans through the woman who was extorting him to buy sex with an 18-year-old woman, leading to his arrest on the misdemeanor charge. He was jailed on a $1,000 bond, under Alabama Criminal Code 13A-12-121. Prohibited Activities.
- Rainbow City Police Department
- Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
- District Attorney’s Office
Arrest and Shaming of Sex Buyer:
- https://www.gadsdentimes.com/news/20190416/extortion-report-leads-to-soliciting-prostitution-charge (2019)
- http://gadsdentimes_com.gm5-dastage.newscyclecloud.com/news/20190416/extortion-report-leads-to-soliciting-prostitution-charge (2019)
Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Prostitution Sting Operation Nets Arrests”, Press Release, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, March 28 2014.
- https://www.al.com/news/anniston-gadsden/2014/03/cherokee_county_authorities_ma.html (2014)
- “Cherokee County Authorities Make Arrests in Prostitution Sting”, Birmingham News, March 29 2014.
- “Cherokee County Prostitution Sting Nets Six Arrests”, Gadsden Times, March 29 2014.
- “Prostitution Sting Operation Nets Arrests”, Cherokee County Herald, March 29 2014.
- “Arrests in Prostitution Sting in Centre”, WEAC-TV 24, March 31 2014.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Gadsden Police Chief Demands to Be Heard”, Gadsden Times Daily, April 5 1957.
- “Deputies Raid Alleged House of Prostitution”, Gadsden Times, January 19 1964.
- “Prostitution Charge Filed against Man”, Gadsden Times, July 28 1990.
- “Undercover Operation Results in Three Arrests on Prostitution Charge”, Gadsden Times, October 14 2000.
- “Cracking Down on Prostitution”, Gadsden Times, March 6 2004.
- “Gadsden Police Break up Internet Prostitution Ring”, Gadsden Times, July 2 2013.
- “Man Reports Theft by Prostitute”, Gadsden Times, August 4 2014.
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Man Swindled Out of $2,860”, Gadsden Times, August 12 1982.
- “Gadsden; Assaults”, Gadsden Times, May 31 1997.
- “Prostitute Assaulted”, Gadsden Times, July 7 2005.