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Roseland is a borough in western Essex County, NJ, and has a population of approximately 6,000 residents. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well documented within the county and its unincorporated areas. 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. Although instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been relatively low in the city of Roseland, local agencies within Essex County have been known to deploy reverse stings as a tactic to reduce the demand for commercial sex within their communities. For example, the police departments in Newark, NJ, Irvington, NJ, and Orange, NJ have all reported having conducted at least one reverse sting operation.
Loss of employment and shaming are also consequences of buying sex in the city. For example, in March of 2021, a Roseland police officer was accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a minor and soliciting prostitution. According to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the offender was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under his power 13 to 16 years of age, four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under his power 16 to 17 years old, 10 counts of endangering the welfare of a child by sexual conduct, one count of aggravated criminal sexual contact, three counts of witness tampering, and one count of hiding evidence to hinder the investigation. The man had sexually assaulted a minor on several occasions between April of 2019 and February of 2021. The victim was a girl who worked for the offender at a restaurant operated by the offender in Roseland, NJ. The abuse allegedly began when the girl was 15 years-old. The offender was suspended from the Roseland Police Department without pay. Investigators believe that the former officer was off-duty when the assaults happened. He additionally faces separate charges for soliciting prostitution. The investigation was conducted by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the West Caldwell Police Department, and the Roseland Police Department. State pension records show the offender had been an officer for 15 years and earned an annual salary of $111,556.
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Newark Cops Seize 52 as ‘Johns’ during 2-Day Sweep”, Newark Star-Ledger, June 23 1990.
- “Orange Prostitution Sweeps Net 24”, Newark Star-Ledger, September 1 1994.
- “Newark Police Arrest 10 Alleged ‘Johns’ in Undercover Prostitution Stings,” Newark Star-Ledger, February 19 2016.
- https://www.nj.com/news/2016/10/29_pimps_prostitutes_in_nj_arrested_in_fbi_human_t.html (2019)
- https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/news/2016/10/29_pimps_prostitutes_in_nj_arr.html (2019)
Arrest and Shaming of Sex Buyer
- https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/nj-police-officer-charged-with-sexually-assaulting-minor-soliciting-prostitute/ar-BB1fb2bs?ocid=hplocalnews (2021)
- https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/essex/police-fire/nj-officer-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-teen-for-years-trying-to-get-her-to-lie-about-it/806161/ (2021)
- https://patch.com/new-jersey/caldwells/roseland-police-officer-west-caldwell-accused-sex-assault (2021)
- https://www.rlsmedia.com/article/roseland-police-officer-charged-child-endangerment (2021)
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