Riley County, KS

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

Riley County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas and has a population of approximately 75,000 residents. Its largest city and county seat is Manhattan, KS. Riley County is home to two of Kansas’s largest employers: Fort Riley and Kansas State University. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been reported in the community for at least ten years. This activity and its ancillary crimes has resulted in complaints to local law enforcement from residents and businesses. Due to the presence of the military base, Fort Riley, Riley County and its surrounding areas have been known to have significant issues with prostitution and sex trafficking. In 1986, a large-scale, international sex trafficking operation was discovered in the area in which women were being transported from Korea to Junction City and Fort Riley, where they were then trafficked to other U.S. states such as Hawaii, Texas, New York, Illinois, and Wyoming. Reports of targeted violence and homicide against prostituted women has also been documented in the county. For example, in 2014, a man and a woman living at Fort Riley were arrested for the murder of a Junction City missing woman after her body was found in a rural area of the county. According to reports, the victim was a known prostituted woman and the couple was found to have been in contact with her prior to her disappearance. In 2017, the couple and two others were found guilty of assaulting, robbing, raping, and murdering the woman.

Among their efforts to curtail commercial sex activity, the Riley County Police Department has conducted at least two reverse stings targeting male sex buyers. For example, in 2011, a three-day online operation using resulted in the arrests of two people for prostitution, two for promoting prostitution, and five male sex buyers. Additionally, one of the five male sex buyers arrested was an R.A. at Kansas State University. As a result of his arrest, the University removed him from his position and opened an investigation into the former student employee. Upon further investigation, K-State University Police discovered that numerous reports about the former R.A. had been made by female students staying in his assigned dorm. The students alleged that the offender had made inappropriate comments and actions towards them during their time living at the dorm however, the sex buyer was not removed from his position until the University was notified of his arrest.

A similar two-day sting conducted in April 2012, resulted in the arrest of 11 individuals on prostitution-related charges–four of whom were charged with patronizing prostitution. The operation was conducted online and undercover officers met with suspected sex buyers at two local hotels. Following both operations, the identities, ages, and hometowns of the arrested offenders were included in reports by local media outlets.

In July 2018, the Kansas Attorney General announced a new awareness campaign in Kansas is aimed at cutting the demand for prostitution as a way to fight human trafficking. The campaign involves state agencies and local advocacy groups teaming up to push the “Demand an End” initiative, which features education and announcements warning people that buyers of sex face charges. The campaign was initiated by the non-profit organization, Street Grace and has been adopted in over 10 states. The campaign intends to promote a culture where purchasing sex is unacceptable.

Key Sources

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Public Education:

Loss of Employment, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaging in Commercial Sex:

State Kansas
Type County
Population 74059
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