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Temple Terrace is an incorporated city in northeastern Hillsborough County, FL, adjacent to Tampa. Instances of prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas, generating complaints from residents to law enforcement. Among the more serious issues associated with the city’s commercial sex market is child sex trafficking. For example, in April of 2013, a call regarding an attempted robbery on March 31st, 2013, led to the arrest of a woman who allegedly had been sex trafficking an underage girl. The woman was arrested by officials on charges of procuring a person under 18 for the purpose of prostitution, deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution, and renting a space to be used for prostitution.
Shaming and loss of employment are also consequences of buying sex in the city. For example, in October, 2005, a veteran Temple Terrace police officer was arrested and charged with soliciting prostitution. According to officials, the former officer had attempted to solicit sex from a lingerie-modeling shop employee. The sex buyer resigned from his position just before the release of an internal-affairs investigation that uncovered further misconduct. City officials announced the former officer’s resignation, and released the internal affairs report, revealing that the offender had used his work computer to search and download adult pornography content. The internal-affairs inquiry also found that he had used his access to a national law-enforcement database to get personal information about confidential Tampa Police Department informants who played a role in the recent prostitution investigation against him. Internal-affairs investigators concluded that the former officer was guilty of 12 violations, including conduct unbecoming of an officer, nonconformance to the law, and abuse of his position. His resignation in early October 2005, automatically relinquished his criminal-justice law-enforcement certificate, meaning that the former officer cannot be reinstated, but still qualified for his police pension. The former officer had joined the department 14 years ago and had an “exemplary” record within the department. He has been on paid administrative leave since July, 2005, after Tampa police videotaped a meeting between the officer and an employee from a lingerie modeling shop at a hotel, where he allegedly offered the woman $140 in exchange for sex acts. The manager of the business called police after the officer visited the shop twice attempting to solicit the woman for sex acts. On both occasions, the man told store staff he was a police officer, according to Tampa police. After she agreed to help detectives catch the officer, she called him to set up a date. The Hillsborough State Attorney charged him with soliciting for prostitution. He was one of three officers who ordered county jail employees to take nude photographs of a former middle-school teacher about to stand trial on charges she had sex with a student.
Loss of Employment, Shaming of Sex Buyers:
- https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/os-xpm-2005-10-25-copporno25-story.html (2005)
- https://www.tampabay.com/archive/2005/10/25/temple-terrace-officer-resigns/ (2005)
- https://www.tampabay.com/archive/2005/10/29/ex-cop-in-sex-sting-agrees-to-counseling/ (2005)
Background on Prostitution and Sex Trafficking in the Area:
- https://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/woman-accused-of-selling-under-age-girl-for-sex (2013)
- https://patch.com/florida/templeterrace/woman-arrested-for-prostituting-girl (2013)
- https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/woman-accused-of-recruiting-minor-for-prostitution (2013)
- https://www.abcactionnews.com/news/local-news/temple-terrace-neighborhood-says-nuisance-home-is-danger-to-community (2017)