Sutton, NE

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

Sutton is a city in Clay County, Nebraska. Its population is approximately 1,000, and it is part of the Hastings Micropolitan Statistical Area in southeastern Nebraska, about 50 miles west of Lincoln. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems throughout the region, including within Clay County. In 2017, several members of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office were trained in dealing with sex trafficking cases that came through the county.

Efforts to address such problems have included those targeting sex buyers. In November 2021, a Sutton man was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison for pandering multiple victims and enticing them into sex. He was sentenced in Clay County District Court on one count of pandering and one count of soliciting prostitution. In September 2021, he pleaded no contest to the charges. In exchange for his plea, a charge of labor/sex trafficking of a minor was reduced to pandering and a charge of committing intentional child abuse with no injury was reduced to soliciting prostitution. As part of his plea agreement, prosecutors dismissed three additional charges of pandering and two additional counts of soliciting prostitution. Court records stated that in January 2019, a Nebraska State Patrol investigator was assigned to investigate a report of sex trafficking of a minor and solicitation. In two interviews in January 2019 and November 2019, a man told the investigator that the suspect started to request sex acts from him in June 2017. He said the suspect paid him between $400 and $600 per act. The investigator interviewed another man in 2019 who said the suspect started paying him between $600 and $700 for sex acts beginning in May 2018. The man said the suspect would blackmail him into performing the acts by saying he would claim that the victim stole items from his business and that he would go to the police if the victim did not do what was asked. The investigator interviewed a third man who said the suspect paid him a total of $65,000 for sex acts since March 2018. He said the suspect gave him a Ford Mustang which was later traded in for a Dodge truck; the suspect reportedly told the victim he had to perform sex acts to pay off the vehicles. In August 2019 and December 2019, an investigator interviewed a fourth man who said the suspect would pay him between $500 and $700 for sex acts. A fifth person – a minor male – told the investigator he was also paid for sex acts. A sixth man told the investigator in interviews on September 2019 and December 2019 that the suspect would pay him between $400 and $700 per sex act, totaling approximately $15,000 in three months. All of the incidents reportedly occurred at the offender’s apartment in Sutton and various hotels in the area. The investigation of this case involved many agencies, including the Sutton Police Department, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Kearney Police Department, Nebraska State Patrol, and the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office.

Key Partners

  • Sutton Police Department
  • Clay County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kearney Police Department
  • Nebraska State Patrol
  • Nebraska Attorney General’s Office
State Nebraska
Type City
Population 1437
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