Tazewell County, VA
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Tazewell County is a county located in the southwestern portion of Virginia. Its population is about 41,000. Its county seat is the city of Tazewell. Tazewell County is part of the Bluefield, WV-VA Micropolitan Statistical Area. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the cities and unincorporated areas of the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. For example, in January, 2018, the monthly session of the grand jury in Tazewell County returned an indictment for a local resident committing “Prostitution – Parent Permitting Child.”
Some cases of local sex trafficking have also involved child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often referred to in state laws as “child pornography). In November, 2020, federal prosecutors announced that a Tazewell County resident pled guilty to attempted sex trafficking of a minor. The man admitted that in June 2020 he contacted a woman on Craigslist who identified herself as a mother who would allow him to sexually abuse her 11- and 14-year-old daughters in exchange for money. The man would then pay approximately $400 plus the cost of the hotel room in order to engage in specified sexual abuse acts with the children. The man further admitted that in July 2020 he possessed images and videos of suspected “child pornography” on an SD card in his cell phone. The man faced at least 15 years and up to life in prison when sentenced, and will also have to register as a sex offender. The FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force conducted the investigation. In January, 2021, the monthly session of the grand jury in Tazewell County returned an indictment for a local resident committing “Procure Minor for Prostitution, Sodomy, Porn by Communication.”
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. For example, a law enforcement respondent to the 2021 National Assessment Survey reported that the demand reduction tactics “street-level” and “web-based reverse stings” have been used in Tazewell County. In November, 2017 the monthly session of the grand jury in Tazewell County returned an indictment for a local resident, a 74 year olds man, committing “Solicitation of Prostitution” and his identity was publicly disclosed.
- Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office
- Tazewell County Grand Jury
National Assessment Survey – 2021
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/swvatoday.com/tazewell county grand jury november.pdf (2017)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
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