Steuben County, NY

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Steuben County is a county of approximately 93,000 residents in southwestern New York, with its county seat in Bath. Prostitution, sex trafficking, and other cases of child sexual exploitation have been well documented within the county for over a decade. For example, in January 2021, Steuben County officials arrested a man following an undercover “child pornography” investigation. The investigation began in July 2020, when an undercover law enforcement officer was investigating individuals who used Peer-to-Peer file sharing applications to share child sexual abuse materials (CSAM) over the internet. During the investigation, officials found numerous images and videos of CSAM that traced back to the offender’s IP address. Some of the images and videos included children younger than 12-years-old engaged in sexual conduct with adults, as well as depictions of violence. In December 2020, investigators executed a search warrant at the defendant’s residence and seized a cell phone that allegedly contained approximately 250 video and image files depicting CSAM. The man pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography in April 2021, a charge that carries a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, with a maximum of 20 years, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime of supervised release. The defendant was a Level III registered sex offender in the state as a result of prior arrests for promoting sexual performance by a child and possessing sexual performance by a child in 2007 and 2018.

Opportunistic arrests of sex buyers have occurred in Steuben County. For example, in April 2017, a Steuben County man was arrested in Ohio after he was accused of attempting to lure an 18-year-old Andover woman into prostitution. Instead, she lured the man to police by falsifying her identity and posing as another, underage girl when they began talking online through The man was charged with two third-degree felony counts of compelling prostitution, one fourth-degree felony count of promoting prostitution, and one third-degree misdemeanor count of soliciting sexual activity. After his arrest, police in Ohio contacted the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office to notify officials of a DNA match from an unsolved rape case in Steuben County from October 2015. Steuben County officials then arrested the offender and charged him with two counts of rape and criminal sex acts for sexually abusing two girls under the age of 15, as well as charges of patronizing and promoting prostitution. He was sentenced to 18 months in New York State Prison.

Another opportunistic arrest of a sex buyer occurred in Steuben County as part of a larger investigation into a sex trafficking ring. In December 2020, five men from Chemung and Steuben counties, including a Steuben County legislator, were charged in connection with an investigation the District Attorney said was conducted “to try to save local victims of sex trafficking,” which was initiated by the State Special Investigation Unit with help from the State Police Violent Gangs and Narcotics Enforcement Team after they received tips about this group. According to New York State Police, the Steuben County legislator was initially arrested in August 2020 and faced two charges of patronizing a prostitute for separate incidents that occurred in June and August 2020. He was also charged with coercion in the second degree based on allegations that he induced a woman to engage in sexual intercourse by “instilling in her a fear that if such demand was not met he would withhold information on her legal claim in a family court custody matter.” Other charges in the indictment included sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, criminal sale of a controlled substance, criminal solicitation and conspiracy to commit murder, falsifying business records, forgery, enterprise corruption, sale of untaxed cigarettes, endangering the welfare of a child, and other crimes.

Although the original indictment was dismissed in April 2021 over what was referred to as a “technical error,” prosecutors filed a new indictment in late May 2021. The charges remained the same, however, prosecutors only charged four men in the new indictment. Prosecutors alleged the sex trafficking enterprise operated in secret for about five years and included use of drugs and an alleged conspiracy to have a witness murdered. All four men were charged with enterprise corruption, which meant they were accused of having knowledge of the existence of a criminal prostitution enterprise and intentionally conducting or participating in its affairs by engaging in a pattern of criminal activity between December 2015 and December 2020. By April 2022, all four men had pleaded guilty to various charges, including the Steuben County legislator pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of solicitation of a person for prostitution. Despite the charges and calls for him to resign, the Steuben County legislator refused to do so as of 2022.

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State New York
Type County
Population 93584
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