Seekonk is a town of approximately 14,000 residents, located in Bristol County, Massachusetts along the Rhode Island border. Prostitution activity, including the sex trafficking of both minors and adults, is a well-documented problem in the city.
In an effort to curtail consumer demand for commercial sex, the Seekonk Police Department has conducted street-level and web-based reverse stings to identify and apprehend sex buyers. For example, in March 2016, SPD officers, with the support of detectives from the Somerset and Swansea police departments, the Human Trafficking Task Force of Rhode Island, and the Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council Detectives Anti-Crime Unit, arrested 11 men in Seekonk on charges of seeking sex for a fee. The 11 men responded to advertisements on social media posted by the Human Trafficking Task Force of Rhode Island. All 11 suspects were taken to the Seekonk Police Department for booking, and the names, ages, and home addresses of the alleged sex buyers are released to news outlets. Other law enforcement agencies also involved in the investigation included the Mattapoisett, Marion and Fairhaven police departments, and the Department of Homeland Security.
- Seekonk Police Department
- Somerset Police Department
- Swansea Police Department
- Human Trafficking Task Force of Rhode Island
- Southeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council Detectives Anti-Crime Unit
- Mattapoisett Police Department
- Marion Police Department
- Fairhaven Police Department
- Department of Homeland Security
- Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “11 Men, One from Taunton, Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Taunton Daily Gazette, March 24 2016.
- “11 Men Arrested in Prostitution Bust; The 11 Men Responded to Online Ads and Met with Undercover Officers at a Designated Location ,” New England Cable News, March 24 2016.
- http://www.patriotledger.com/article/20160324/NEWS/ (2016)
- https://patch.com/massachusetts/seekonk-swansea/seekonk-prostitution-sting-nets-11-arrests-0 (2016)
- http://www.thesunchronicle.com/news/local_news/mansfield-man-among-arrested-in-human-trafficking-sting-in-seekonk (2016)
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Missing Girl from Boston Found Dancing at Providence Strip Club,” Providence Journal, August 3 2013.
- “Trafficking Arrest Linked to Girls, 15,” Boston Globe, August 4 2013.
- “Trafficking of Women and Girls Happening in Attleboro Area,” Attleboro Sun Chronicle, April 27 2015.
- “Pawtucket Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Charge Involving Seekonk Motel,” Attleboro Sun Chronicle, March 24 2015.
- “Providence Man to Plead Guilty in Seekonk, Pawtucket Sex Trafficking Cases,” Attleboro Sun Chronicle, May 29 2015.
- “Guilty Plea in Motel Trafficking Case,” Attleboro Sun Chronicle, June 13 2015.
- “RI Boy, 16, Pleads No Contest to Sex Trafficking of a Minor,” East Providence Patch, September 16 2015.
- “3 RI Residents Sentenced in Prostitution Case; Brought Woman to Seekonk for Sex Acts,” Attleboro Sun Chronicle, October 20 2015.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Motel Sting Leads to 7 Arrests for Prostitution,” Providence Journal, January 23 2008.
- “Seekonk Police Charge Seven with Prostitution,” Attleboro Sun Chronicle, January 24 2008.
- “Seekonk Police Arrest Two Men and Three Women in Prostitution Sting,” Attleboro Sun Chronicle, November 15 2013.
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Authorities Believe Four Bodies Linked,” Bryan Times, December 1 1988.
- “Deaths of 4 Women Called Serial Killings Latest Body Found in Dartmouth,” Boston Globe, December 1 1988.
- “Searchers Find 5th Woman’s Body near New Bedford,” Boston Globe, December 2 1988.
- “Dist. Atty. Pina Says 5 Women Were Slain by the Same Person or Group,” Providence Journal, December 3 1988.
- “5 Bodies Spur Hunt for Mass. Serial Killer,” Chicago Sun-Times, December 4 1988.
- “Key Piece of Puzzle Eludes Police in 8 Women’s Deaths,” Providence Journal, December 11 1988.
- “Locations near Highways Link 6 Bodies Found Since July,” Boston Globe, December 12 1988.
- “DA: Slayings of 5 Women near New Bedford Linked,” Boston Globe, December 13 1988.