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Rehoboth Beach is a city of about 1,000 residents, located along the Delaware Coast. As a coastal tourist destination, the local population swells dramatically during the summer months. Although reports of street prostitution appear limited, residents and law enforcement have noted problems with prostitution occurring within local massage parlors.
To curtail this activity, Delaware State Police have on at least two occasions conducted stings at Rehoboth massage parlors since 2011. Most recently, in December 2014, police raided two parlors after receiving tips about prostitution occurring within the businesses. During the investigation, undercover officers entered the businesses posing as potential sex buyers. After detectives were offered sexual acts by female employees, they “refused the service and returned with warrants,” arresting three prostituted women in the process. Five sex buyers were also intercepted during the sting. Each was “issued a criminal summons for patronizing a prostitute or requesting sexual contact for a fee.”
Although the logistical details of their arrests (i.e., whether or not traditional reverse stings tactics such as a female police decoy were used) were not made public, all of the men’s names, ages, and hometowns were publicized in local media outlets. One such paper, the Cape Gazette, asked a representative with the State Police why the sex buyers’ mugshots were not released. The officer clarified that “there are no photos of the men because police do not take photos [of suspects] for a summons.”
- Delaware State Police
- Sussex Drug Task Force
- Sussex Governor’s Task Force
- Troop 4 Major Crimes Unit
- Delaware Department of State’s Division of Professional Regulation
- Delaware Department of Justice
- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations
Brothel Busts Resulting in Sex Buyer Arrests with Identity Disclosure:
- “3 Arrested on Prostitution Charges at Massage Parlors,” Salisbury Daily Times, December 9 2014.
- “8 Charged in Massage Parlor Prostitution Raids,” Wilmington News Journal, December 9 2014.
- “Prostitution Bust at Two Rehoboth Massage Parlors,” WDEL-AM 1150, December 9 2014.
- “Prostitution Arrests at Two Rehoboth Beach Massage Parlors,” WXDE-FM 105.9, December 10 2014.
- “Rehoboth Prostitution Sting Nets Clients, Masseuses,” Lewes Cape Gazette, December 10 2014.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “3 Women Arrested in Lewes-Rehoboth Massage Parlor Investigation,” Newark Post, November 21 2011.
- “Massage Parlor Bust Leads to Three Arrests in Coastal Delaware,” Cecil Whig, November 21 2011.
- “Police Arrest Three Women after Prostitution Investigation,” Sussex Countian, November 22 2011.
- “Three Masseuses Arrested in Sussex for Selling Sexual Favors,” Middletown Transcript, November 22 2011.
- “Massage Parlor Owner Arrested,” Wilmington News Journal, December 19 2014.
- “Rehoboth Beach Massage Parlor Owner Arrested,” Salisbury Daily Times, December 19 2014.