Rainbow City, AL

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Web stings
License suspension

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.

Key Partners

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

Key Sources

Arrest and Shaming of Sex Buyer:

Reverse Stings with Shaming:


Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:


State Alabama
Type City
Population 9555
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