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St. Johns is a city in eastern Arizona with a population of approximately 3,500 residents. It is located in and the county seat of Apache County, AZ. Prostitution and sex trafficking have not been known to be pervasive issues within the city, but have occurred and generated complaints to law enforcement agencies. Child sex trafficking, including the production of child sexual abuse materials (i.e., child pornography), has been documented in multiple locations within the county. In 2021, it was announced that the Apache County Department of Juvenile Probation was in the early stages of developing policy and response for the use of a sex trafficking screening instrument.
Sex buyers and sex traffickers have been arrested n the city, and their identities disclosed. For example, in 2011, a St. Johns man was arrested on charges of child sex trafficking, sexual abuse, and attempted sexual abuse. According to reports, the offender was accused of sexually abusing a young girl for a period of two years, beginning from when she was 11-years old. According to officials, the offender started sexually abusing the girl in 2007, and continued until the summer of 2010. St. Johns’ police claim that the trafficker offered the victim “money, food, and gifts,” such as an MP3 player, as forms of enticement. The victim-survivor told investigators that while she was sex trafficked, she was raped and physically assaulted. The offender was charged with over 40 felony counts that were based on statements from the victim, who told police that the incidents occurred every three weeks for two years. The offender’s identity, age, location, and charges were included in reports by local news sources.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://www.wmicentral.com/siqueiro-seeks-change-of-venue (2017)
- https://www.wmicentral.com/springerville-child-sex-exploitation (2018)
- https://www.azdhs.gov/AZ-sexual-violence-primary-prevention-action-report.pdf (2019)
- https://goyff.az.gov/AZ_juvenile_justice_system_fy2021_trafficking_update (2021)
- https://www.wmicentral.com/police-chief-warns-about-sex-trafficking (2022)