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Shepherdsville is a home rule-class city on the Salt River in northern Kentucky, located just south of Louisville. It is the government seat of Bullitt County and has a population of approximately 14,000 residents. While prostitution has not been reported as a significant issue in the city, due to tis close proximity to the City of Louisville, instances of its occurrence have been documented in the city and surrounding areas. Among the more serious issues associated with the city’s prostitution market is sex trafficking. For example, in 2020, during a web-based reverse sting targeting individuals seeking to sexually exploit minors in exchange for money, led by the Louisville Metro Police Department, a Shepherdsville man was one of seven men arrested. All seven men were charged with promoting human trafficking victim under 18 years of age and prohibited use of electronic communication system to procure minor/peace officer.
Identity disclosure and loss of employment are consequences of buying sex in the city. For example, in 2015, the former Mayor of Shepherdsville was arrested for solicitation of prostitution. According to reports, the Criminal Investigation Division of the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the former Mayor in December 2014 after deputies received reports of the former Mayor’s alleged misconduct, in which three women stated that the former Mayor had allegedly offered them items in exchange for sex acts. In 2015, officials released evidence of the former Mayor’s misconduct including a video confession in which the former Mayor admitted to using his elected position to solicit sex acts from a woman on parole and hundreds of Facebook messages. In August 2015, the Shepherdsville City Council voted 4-2 to approve a resolution formally asking the Mayor to resign. The Mayor officially resigned from his position in February 2016. The offender’s identity and image were included in reports by local media outlets.
Sex Buyer Fired and/or Resigned Due to Arrest:
- https://www.wdrb.com/news/crime-reports/shepherdsville-mayor-scott-ellis-indicted-on-solicitation-of-prostitution-charge (2015)
- https://www.wave3.com/story/shepherdsville-mayor-faces-misdemeanor-charges-for-prostitution-solicitation (2015)
- https://www.wlky.com/article/shepherdsville-mayor-says-he-ll-resign-after-he-finds-new-job (2015)
- Shepherdsville Mayor facing sex scandal allegations (2015)
- Shepherdsville city council members react to sex scandal allegations against mayor (2015)
- Grand jury hears case against Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis (2015)
- Former city employee files sexual harassment suit against Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis (2015)
- https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/local/bullitt/shepherdsville-mayor-resigns-amid-controversy (2016)
- https://www.wdrb.com/news/shepherdsville-mayor-scott-ellis-gave-video-confession-in-sex-for-favors-case-records-show (2016)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.wave3.com/story/three-busted-for-prostitution-more-arrests-could-follow (2007)
- https://www.kentuckytoday.com/state/7-arrested-for-human-trafficking-in-louisville (2020)
- https://www.wdrb.com/news/lmpd-7-defendants-accused-of-seeking-sex-with-minors-are-fathers-themselves (2020)
- https://www.wlky.com/article/lmpd-7-men-arrested-in-human-trafficking-sting-all-are-fathers (2020)
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