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Southaven is a city of approximately 50,000 residents, situated in the southern suburbs of Memphis in DeSoto County, Mississippi. Prostitution has been identified by police and others as generating a wide range of problems in the area, including johns responding to online ads being shot and robbed. The Southaven Police Department has conducted at least three web-based reverse stings using undercover officers, in an effort to reduce consumer-level demand. Arrested sex buyers have also had their identities reported in the media and often face fines.
Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the city. In November, 2017, a member of the Southaven Board of Alderman was arrested by the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office and booked into the county jail on charges related to procuring prostitution. He had communicated with a woman and promised her money in exchange for sex. A search warrant based on that charge led to the man also being charged with transporting child pornography. In December, 2017, the alderman from Southaven resigned was arrested and charged with procuring a prostituted person. The offender quit his post shortly after pleading not guilty in federal court in Oxford. An indictment charged the 57-year-old man with bringing computer files with “visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct” across state lines from Tennessee into Mississippi in Nov. 2017.
- Southaven Police Department
- DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office
- Southaven Board of Alderman
Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Southaven Police Chief Hopes Prostitution Sting Sends Message”, NBC/WMC-TV 5, February 23 2011.
- “Southaven Prostitution Sting Nets 11 Arrests; Police Use Online Bait as Lure to Hotel”, Memphis Commercial Appeal, February 23 2011.
- “Internet Fuels Child Trafficking Crimes in the Mid-South”, ABC/WATN-TV 24, April 25 2012.
- “15 Arrested in Hotel Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WMC-TV 5, January 27 2014.
- “High School Coach, Teacher Arrested During Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WMC-TV 5, January 27 2014.
- “Southaven Police Arrest 15 in Prostitution Sting”, FOX/WHBQ-TV 13, January 27 2014.
- “Coach Caught in Prostitution Sting”, Desoto Times Tribune, January 28 2014.
- “Desoto Co. Teacher Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, NBC/WMC-TV 5, January 28 2014.
- “Teacher/Coach One of 15 Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, ABC/WBMA-TV 33, January 28 2014.
- “A Dozen People Arrested in Southaven Prostitution Sting”, FOX/WHBQ-TV 13, July 25 2014.
- “Prostitution Sting Results in 12 Arrests”, ABC/KAIT-TV 8, July 25 2014.
Arrest and Shaming of Sex Buyer:
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:
- https://yallpolitics.com/southaven_alderman_facing_child_porn_and_soliciting_prostitution_charges/ (2017)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: