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The town of Riverhead is the county seat of Suffolk County, New York, on the north shore of Long Island near Southampton and Riverside. It has a population of approximately 34,000 residents. Prostitution has been identified as a substantial problem in the city, generating numerous complaints to police and a wide range of associated crimes. For example, the targeted homicide of women engaged in prostitution has also been documented.
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. Riverhead Town Police have conducted reverse stings since at least 2007 in order to reduce consumer-level demand. The names and ages of the men arrested in reverse stings have been released to media outlets.
- Riverhead Town Police
Street-Level Reverse Stings:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “The East End; Riverhead Targets ‘Nuisances’: Town Seeks Ammunition against Crime and Drugs,” Newsday, June 23 1996.
- “Drug Sweep Nets 78 in Riverhead,” New York Daily News, May 24 2007.
- “Brothel Neighbor: ‘I Didn’t Know,'” Riverhead Patch, September 17 2012.
- “Police: Riverhead Man Ran Brothel out of Maple Avenue Home,” Riverhead Times-Review, September 17 2012.
- “Crime on the Decline over Past 10 Years in Riverhead,” Riverhead Times-Review, February 7 2014.
- “Cops: Manorville Woman Charged with Prostitution,” Riverhead Times-Review, September 24 2014.
- https://riverheadlocal.com/both-women-in-fight-outside-riverhead-hotel-were-charged-with-prostitution-at-upstate-hotel-one-week-ago-report (2015)
- https://riverheadnewsreview.timesreview.com/riverhead-blotter-dwi-and-prostitution-arrests-in-riverhead (2020)
- https://riverheadlocal.com/riverhead-aims-to-make-downtown-more-family-friendly-with-new-zoning-and-laws-to-crack-down-on-unwanted-behavior/ (2023)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://www.cbsnews.com/newyork/news/raymond-rodio-iii-sex-trafficking-suffolk-county-parents-basement-dungeon (2020)
- https://patch.com/new-york/riverhead/jail-shines-blue-spotlight-human-trafficking-li (2021)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “The Rifkin File, Victim by Victim,” Newsday, July 1 1993.
- “Police Want Admitted Killer’s Help,” Schenectady Daily Gazette, July 31 1993.
- “Man Pleads Guilty to Raping Prostitutes,” Newsday, October 8 1999.
- “Stab Death Stuns Friends,” Newsday, August 25 2005.
- “Sentencing for Riverhead Murder in Suffolk County,” U.S. Federal News Service, May 24 2006.
- “Sentence Convicted Killer,” East Hampton Independent News, May 31 2006.
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