Rainbow City, AL

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Rainbow City is a city in Etowah County, Alabama, and has a population of about 10,000.  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 result 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 reverse sting 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 prostituted woman he saw eight years ago began texting him 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.

Key Partners

  • Rainbow City Police Department
  • Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
  • District Attorney’s Office

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented ViolenceAagainst Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Alabama
Type City
Population 10154
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