Secaucus is a town of roughly 20,000 residents, located near Union City and North Bergen in Hudson County, New Jersey. City officials and law enforcement have reported a rise in prostitution in the area since about 2010, with activities frequently arranged online and occurring within sexually-oriented businesses and local hotels and motels. Cases of child sex trafficking have also been documented in the city. For example, in February 2014, a Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for, among other charges, trafficking a 16-year-old girl from Secaucus to Allentown as part of a prostitution ring he operated in both cities and advertised online. In fall 2015, four adults were indicted on sex trafficking charges for forcing a 14-year-old girl to commit acts of prostitution; the victim was recovered at a Secaucus hotel.
Following several “sweeps” targeting prostituted women and pimps operating within city massage parlors, the Secaucus Police Department shifted focus from street-level and brothel prostitution in fall 2014 and launched a web-based reverse sting. For the operation, SPD officers placed an advertisement on an unnamed “online classifieds website,” and arranged to meet the men who responded at a nearby hotel. Three sex buyers were arrested as a result, and their names, ages and hometowns were released to the public. In a press release about the sting, the SPD Police Chief commented:
“Prostitution is not a victimless crime like many people may think… We plan to remain proactive in the future as we will continue to target both prostitutes and their customers by doing various types of stings on a regular basis.”
- Secaucus Police Department
Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Secaucus Sting Nets Three on Alleged Soliciting of Prostitution,” Bergen County Record, October 6 2014.
- “3 Busted in Secaucus Hotel Prostitution Sting: Police,” Jersey Journal, October 7 2014.
- “Secaucus Police Arrest Three in ‘Reverse’ Prostitution Sting,” Hudson Reporter, October 7 2014.
- “Hudson, Essex County Residents Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Secaucus: Police,” Jersey Journal, October 8 2014.
Background on Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Pennsylvania Man Charged with Running a Prostitution Business,” Press Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, March 20 2014.
- “Allentown Man Faces New Charges in Sex Trafficking Case,” Allentown Morning Call, March 24 2014.
- “Man Charged with Sex Trafficking a Teen He Met in Secaucus Takes Plea,” Jersey Journal, March 27 2014.
- “Pa. Man Gets 10 Years for Involvement in Prostitution Ring,” Jersey Journal, March 28 2014.
- “Northfield Shelter Runaway Trafficked into Prostitution, Cops Say,” Press of Atlantic City, April 11 2015.
- “Four Charged with First-Degree Human Trafficking for Allegedly Trafficking 14-Year-Old Girl in Hudson County Prostitution Ring,” Press Release, Office of the Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, May 14 2015.
- “Four Men Indicted in New Jersey for Forcing a 14-Year-Old into Prostitution,” Gawker, October 11 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Police Break in on Alleged Prostitution Act in Secaucus,” Hudson Reporter, May 5 2009.
- “Secaucus Briefs; Secaucus Cops Bust Six in Alleged Prostitution Sting,” Hudson Reporter, November 14 2010.
- “Rubbed Out; Nearby Town to Crack down on Prostitution at Massage Parlors,” Hudson Reporter, December 16 2010.
- “Updated: Another Arrest at Secaucus Rub Joint,” Hudson Reporter, December 21 2010.
- “No Satisfaction; Council Rewrites ‘Happy Endings’; Rec Center Critic Still Unhappy Despite Changes,” Hudson Reporter, January 30 2011.
- “National Prostitution Investigation Results in Arrests in Secaucus,” Hudson Reporter, June 28 2012.
- “Secaucus Agencies Shut down Three Massage Parlors; ‘Bedroom-Like Setting’ at One,” Hudson Reporter, January 4 2013.
- “Not a Happy Ending; Local Agencies Shut down, Fine Massage Parlors,” Hudson Reporter, January 13 2013.
- “Secaucus Gets Tough on Massage Parlors,” Newark Star-Ledger, July 3 2013.
- “Secaucus Sets Limits on Massage Parlors,” Bergen County Record, July 3 2013.
- “52-Year-Old Woman Arrested for Alleged Prostitution at Route 3 Massage Parlor,” Hudson Reporter, July 30 2013.
- “Man Charged with Promoting Prostitution at Red Roof Inn in Secaucus,” Jersey Journal, February 5 2014.
- https://dailyvoice.com/new-jersey/hudson/police-fire/undercover-prostitution-sting-nets-5-in-secaucus (2021)
- https://patch.com/new-jersey/secaucus/secaucus-police-do-undercover-prostitution-bust-friday-night (2021)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: