Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, contains roughly 18,000 residents and is located about 20 miles south of St. Louis, along the Illinois border. Prostitution and sex trafficking activity have been well-documented in the region surrounding St. Louis, including this county. For example, in April 2013, a truck driver from the region was charged with child sex trafficking for taking a minor girl for prostitution, and could face a mandatory life sentence because of his prior convictions for endangering the welfare of a child and sexual misconduct with a 12-year-old boy. A Kansas City grand jury returned a sealed indictment charging commercial sex trafficking of a child, enticement of a minor and transportation of a minor for prostitution. A second truck driver also was charged in the same case, facing counts of enticement for prostitution and transportation for prostitution. A court motion asking that the key defendant be jailed pending trial alleged that he had “repeated sexual intercourse” with the victim and “injured her on multiple occasions,” and threatened the girl’s life to prevent her from speaking with authorities – specifically, pointing out rivers as he transported the minor victim across the country and tell her if she ever told law enforcement, he would dump her body in those rivers, and told the girl that no one would care about her death because she was a “black prostitute” court records alleged.
We have not identified instances where proactive reverse stings have been conducted by the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office, but people who have been arrested for purchasing sex have had their identities disclosed to the public. For example, in June 2018, a man was arrested for patronizing prostitution with a minor, enticing a child and statutory sodomy, according to an affidavit of probable cause from the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office. The man was arrested in the north end of the county after a Sheriff’s Office deputy noticed suspicious activity, and an investigation ultimately revealed that the suspect had paid a juvenile $200 for sex. The adult had met the juvenile on a social media dating platform. The suspect was taken to the Ste. Genevieve County Detention Center for processing where he was booked and held for 24 hours pending application of warrants for his charges. The Sheriff’s Office applied for warrants for statutory sodomy, second degree; enticing a child (actor over 21, child less than 15); patronizing prostitution, 14 years and younger; sexual misconduct involving a child less than 15.
In April 2019 a former arts teacher was sentenced to five years of probation for paying an underage boy for sex. The 47-year-old man from Bloomsdale was sentenced after pleading guilty to patronizing prostitution from a child 14 years old or younger. Authorities began investigating after a Ste. Genevieve County deputy stopped the man with the boy in his car. The investigation found that he had met the boy on the app Grindr and paid him for sex acts. While not a reverse sting operation, the sex buyer was arrested and his identity disclosed in news reports.
- Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office
- http://www.fox19.com/story/deputies-ste-genevieve-teacher-met-with-juvenile-to-have-sexual-encounter (2018)
- http://www.stegenherald.com/news/st-louis-man-arrested-in-county-for-patronizing-prostitution-with minor (2018)
- http://www.kmov.com/story/38422110/micds-teacher-accused-of-sexual-misconduct-with-a-minor (2018)
- http://www.newspressnow.com/news/state/former-arts-teacher-sentenced-for-paying-boy-for-sex (2019)
- http://www.stegenherald.com/law_enforcement/two-people-arrested-from-alleged-prostitution-incident-in-bloomsdale/ (2017)
- https://dailyjournalonline.com/news/local/duo-charged-with-prostitution/article (2017)