Stroudsburg is a city of just over 5,000 residents, located in eastern Pennsylvania’s Monroe County roughly and hour’s drive southeast of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Prostitution activity, often arranged online and occurring within local businesses and hotels, has been reported in the city for at least five years. Minors have also been discovered during prostitution stings.
In March 2015, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office announced the completion of multiple web-based reverse stings targeting sex buyers in the Stroudsburg area. Conducted between January and March, the investigations targeted online advertisements suggesting commercial sex. According to reports, law enforcement both placed and responded to listings, and arranged to meet the men and women who responded at a nearby hotel. The hotel reportedly offered to “host” the sting, and allowed law enforcement to install surveillance equipment to collect evidence during the operation. Six johns were arrested as a result; some of those arrested allegedly attempted to exchange drugs for sex. All of the offender’s names, ages, hometowns and arrest photos were released to the public.
In March, 2019, a Lehigh County man was arrested as the result of an undercover sex sting in which he arranged to pay to have sex with an 11-year-old girl. The 40 year old man was charged by the Monroe County district attorney’s office with attempted rape of a child, and a total of 13 felony charges. A prostituted woman who was arrested earlier in the month told detectives a man contacted her saying he was interested in paying her to find him a young girl to have sex with. Investigators found evidence of the conversation in the woman’s cell phone and were able to identify the man. Two detectives from the district attorney’s office continued the conversation, posing as the prostitute, and told the suspect they had found a woman who was willing to allow him to have sex with her daughter for $400. The detectives began posing as the child’s mother while talking with the man, who asked the detectives if they could also arrange it so he would pay the mother $100 every week to have the 11-year-old child perform a sexual act on him. The detectives arranged to meet in Stroudsburg, and the man was apprehended by investigators after he arrived at the meeting.
- Monroe County District Attorney’s Office
- Monroe County Drug Task Force
Web-Based Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Stroudsburg Area Prostitution Stings Net Charges against 16, Authorities Say,” Easton Express-Times, March 11 2015.
- “Human Trafficking Arrests in the Poconos,” Poconos News, March 12 2015.
- “Investigators Say Human Trafficking Is a Growing Problem in the Poconos,” NBC/WBRE-TV 11, March 12 2015.
- “Monroe County Hotel Prostitution Stings Lead to 16 Arrests,” Allentown Morning Call, March 12 2015.
- http://www.pahomepage.com/news/big-names-arrested-in-big-prostitution-bust-in-the-poconos (2016)
- “15 Arrested in Stroudsburg Prostitution Sting,” Pocono Record, July 1 2016.
- https://www.wfmz.com/news/poconos-coal/lehigh-county-man-accused-of-arranging-to-have-sex-with-young-girl (2019)
Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- “Two Charged in Stroudsburg Trafficking, Prostitution,” Pocono Record, October 6 2015.
- “Human Trafficking Probe Launched after Chinese Woman Found in Poconos Massage Parlor,” Allentown Morning Call, October 26 2015.
- “Monroe County Man Pleads Guilty to Heroin, Sex Trafficking Charges,” Pocono News, November 25 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Stroudsburg Denies Permit to Spa Owner Charged in Prostitution,” Allentown Morning Call, May 6 1993.
- “Five Individuals Indicted for Operating a Multi-State Prostitution Network,” Press Release, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, May 17 2011.
- “Fourth Defendant Sentenced in Stroudsburg Prostitution Roundup,” Pocono Record, October 7 2015.
- Child Endangerment:
- “2 Women, Minor Arrested in Prostitution Sting in Stroudsburg Area,” Pocono Record, June 4 2015.
- “Woman Brought Teen with Them on Prostitution Call in Poconos, DA Says,” Easton Express-Times, June 4 2015.