Scranton, PA

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

Scranton is a city of approximately 77,000 residents, located in northeast Pennsylvania’s Lackawanna County near Wilkes-Barre. Local law enforcement has reported a wide range of crimes and other problems related to prostitution for decades, and residents have complained to police about prostitution in certain neighborhoods. International and domestic sex trafficking networks and rings have also operated in Scranton since at least the 1980s, and probably before. In the 1980s and 1990s, the city was also identified as a stop on an interstate prostitution/trafficking circuit that ran through central Pennsylvania and upstate New York. Prostitution-related homicides have also occurred in the city.  In response to concerns about prostitution and sex trafficking, and the numerous other offenses invariably associated with it, police have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex.  The Scranton Police Department has conducted street-level reverse stings since 2003, and distributed the names of the sex buyers arrested during the operations to the public.

Key Partners

  • Scranton Police Department
  • Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department

Key Sources

Reverse Stings:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

  • “Scranton Police Find Alleged Prostitute High, in Labor”, Scranton Times-Tribune, August 17 2010.
  • “Scranton Police: Woman Propositioned Off-Duty Officer”, Scranton Times-Tribune, May 12 2011.
  • “Kingston Woman Accused of Propositioning Undercover Scranton Cop”, Scranton Times-Tribune, June 30 2011.
  • “City Police Take in Two Alleged Prostitutes at Clarion Hotel”, Scranton Times-Tribune, December 9 2011.
  • “South Side Prostitute Arrested After Undercover Sting”, Scranton Times-Tribune, July 20 2012.
  • “Cops Bust Woman for Prostitution Downtown”, Scranton Times-Tribune, August 31 2012.
  • “Woman Charged with Prostitution”, Scranton Times-Tribune, January 9 2013.
  • “Five Plead Guilty in Prostitution Sting”, Scranton Times-Tribune, May 31 2014.
  • (2022)

Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 76997
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