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Rainier is a city of approximately 2,000 residents, located in Columbia County, OR. It is positioned along the south bank of the Columbia River across from Kelso and Longview, Washington. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the area. For example, in 2013, a man wanted in a sex trafficking case in Seattle was arrested by the Longview police and the U.S. Marshals Service at the Amtrak station in Kelso. The suspect had allegedly attempted to kidnap a 23-year-old Seattle woman in January 2012 and threatened to kill her or sex traffic her. Police arrested the suspect for kidnapping, robbery and attempted human trafficking. According to reports, the woman escaped by jumping from a moving car and suffered a severe head injury. In Rainier, local problems with the sex trade to pass local ordinances to regulating adult-oriented businesses.
Loss of employment and the public disclosure of identities are consequences of buying sex that have occurred in the city. For example, in 1991, a 54-year-old Hudson Park Elementary Teacher was arrested at a rest stop after attempting to solicit sex from an undercover Washington State Patrol officer. According to reports, WSP officers were sent to conduct street-level reverse sting operations at various Gee Creek rest stops after receiving numerous complaints regarding concerns of potential prostitution activity. The 23-year veteran elementary school teacher was one of five men arrested during the two-day sting. As a result of his arrest, the Rainier School District initial placed the teacher on administrative leave, but eventually terminated his employment in November 2002. In 2003, after pleading guilty to the charge of patronizing a prostitute, the convicted sex buyer was sentenced to seven days on a work crew, fined $500 in court fees, and was barred from visiting any Interstate 5 rest areas. He had he option of serving his work crew sentence in either Clark County, WA, Lewis County, WA, or Cowlitz County, WA. The sex buyer’s identity, age, charge, and place of employment were included in reports by local media outlets.
Employment Loss, SOAP Orders, Identity Disclosure:
- Teacher pleads innocent to soliciting prostitute at rest area (2002)
- Rainier teacher arrested in rest area prostitution sting (2002)
- Former elementary school teacher sentenced for patronizing prostitute (2003)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- Ex-Rainier band teacher may return to classroom (2004)
- “Sex Trafficking Suspect Arrested in Kelso,” Longview Daily News, January 23 2013.
- https://www.wenatcheeworld.com/sex-trafficking-suspect-arrested-in-kelso (2013)
- https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdwa/pr/kelso-man-sentenced-25-years-prison-production-child-pornography (2014)
- https://tdn.com/woman-arrested-on-suspicion-of-prostitution (2016)
- https://www.thechronicleonline.com/news/traffic-stop-results-in-prostitution-arrest (2016)
- https://pamplinmedia.com/two-busted-with-heroin-on-way-to-prostitution-gig (2016)
- https://tdn.com/two-longview-men-accused-of-inappropriate-contact-with-minors (2018)