Rutland, VT

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

Rutland is a city that serves as the government seat of Rutland County, western Vermont. Its population is roughly 15,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking in the Rutland area and throughout the state have been very well documented. A number of human trafficking investigations across Vermont between 2013 and 2016 — including in Burlington, Shelburne, Colchester, Williston, Rutland, and Bennington — involved massage spas and parlors serving as fronts for illegal activity. Authorities said that traffickers would bring young women to Vermont from overseas or other states and force them into prostitution. For example, in November, 2016, a man sentenced to 12 years in prison on drug and sex trafficking charges after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and crack cocaine in Rutland, Vermont, and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking women between Vermont and New York. The man also pleaded guilty to sex trafficking five women, including four from Vermont, between 2012 and 2015. Prosecutors said the offender worked with a number of women who helped him sell and transport drugs, and when they became addicted and dependent upon him, he forced some to prostitute themselves. If they refused, he would withhold drugs, hit, or threaten to hit them. A federal grant application submitted in 2018 by the statewide Human Trafficking Task Force showed that the number of victims who received services in Vermont jumped by almost 400 percent between 2015 and 2017, from 31 to 150 people. The number of sex trafficking investigations doubled in that same period of time, from 31 to 64. In 2020, Rutland police reported handling once case of prostitution and two cases of “assisting or promoting prostitution offenses.”

Sex buyers, who drive all prostitution and sex trafficking, have been arrested and their identities disclosed in Rutland.  For example, in June, 2018, a local 57-year-old man was arrested and accused of trying to coerce a 17-year-old girl to have sex with him in exchange for $50.  The Rutland resident pleaded not guilty in Rutland criminal court to a single misdemeanor count of attempting to procure a person for prostitution. Police said a vehicle, later identified as the suspect’s, was parked at Giorgetti Park when the park was closed. The suspect was seen coming out of a baseball dugout in the park and spoke to police, who were suspicious because they had worked on a prior case in which the man was suspected of meeting a young woman for sex. A 17-year-old girl was later found in the dugout by police. After questioning by police, the girl said the man had offered to pay her $50 for sex. If convicted, the defendant could be sentenced to up to one year in prison. The man’s identity was included in news reports.

In December, 2021, a Rutland resident was indicted by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleged that the man engaged in drug trafficking and unlawfully possessed a deadly weapon, and was detained on related state charges.  The man had an extensive criminal history, and was known to police as the perpetrator of significant violence in the Rutland community. Witnesses had reported that the suspect has “pistol-whipped” multiple people with a revolver and held a woman at gunpoint, and witnesses had reported that the man has raped and sexually assaulted multiple women in the Rutland area. In addition, the man was being investigated for using drugs to coerce women to perform commercial sex acts and for his involvement in the facilitation of prostitution.

Key Partners

  • Rutland Police Department
  • Vermont State Police

Key Sources

Arrest of Sex Buyers, Disclosure of Identities:

Background on Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in the Region:

State Decriminalization of Prostitution:

State Vermont
Type City
Population 15207
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