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Severance is a Statutory Town of approximately 5,600 residents in the U.S. state of Colorado, located in Weld County, CO. The town is located on the Colorado Eastern Plains, northwest of Greeley, CO. Although prostitution and sex trafficking are not pervasive issues in the town, reports of their occurrence have been made.
In effort to reduce commercial sex activity, demand reduction tactics have been implemented. For example, loss of employment and identity disclosure are consequences of buying sex that have occurred within the town. In April 2021, the former mayor of Severance was arrested by Greeley police after they discovered the former mayor and a 17-year-old boy allegedly engaging in commercial sex acts in a van in a Greeley park. According to reports, the two had met on the online dating app Grindr. The boy, according to an affidavit, told police that he lied about his name and age on the app and sent sexually explicit photos to the former mayor, in addition to also receiving sexually explicit photos from the former mayor. The teen originally told police that they had planned to meet in the park to discuss a potential construction job, then broke down and admitted they had planned to meet up to engage in commercial sex. According to the affidavit, the teenage boy told police that he disclosed his true age to the former mayor and asked “if he was OK with that, and he replied he was.” Then, the teen told the man “he could touch him inappropriately for $20,” to which the man agreed. The day after the incident, police searched [the offender’s] van, seized his electronic devices and ordered him to provide a DNA sample. On April 7, 2021, the Town of Severance announced that [the offender] had submitted a letter of resignation the day prior. [The offender] eventually turned himself in to police and was officially arrested Sept. 9, 2021, on one count of patronizing a prostituted child, according to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office. His identity and image were included in reports by local media outlets.
Loss of Employment, Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.greeleytribune.com/2021/09/15/former-severance-mayor-donald-mcleod-arrested-on-suspicion-of-child-prostitution/ (2021)
- https://kdvr.com/news/local/former-severance-mayor-charged-with-child-prostitution/ (2021)
- https://newcountry991.com/former-severance-mayor-faces-felony-charge-allegedly-solicited-child-prostitute/ (2021)
- https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/former-severance-mayor-arrested-for-alleged-sexual-contact-with-teen-he-met-on-app (2021)
- https://k99.com/former-severance-mayor-faces-felony-charge-allegedly-solicited-child-prostitute/ (2021)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- “Greeley Man Charged as a Pimp Sentenced to Jail”, Greeley Tribune, May 29 2008.
- “Greeley Police Release Details on 3 Women Arrested on Suspicion of Prostitution”, Greeley Tribune, April 22 2014.
- “Police Chief Says Prostitution a Growing Problem in Greeley”, Greeley Tribune, May 22 2014.
- https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/greeley-to-pay-150k-to-woman-acquitted-of-prostitution (2017)
- https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/04/rainbow-motel-greeley-overhaul/ (2018)