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Tigard is a city in Northwestern Oregon, of approximately 56, 000 residents, located southwest of Portland, OR in Washington County, OR. Prostitution has been known to occur in the area for decades, and businesses frequently complain to police about the detrimental effects prostitution is having on their businesses. Among the more serious issues associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.
The Tigard Police Department has been conducting web-based reverse sting operations as part of a comprehensive effort to reduce demand for commercial sex in the city since 2005, when police began to notice the local commercial sex market was shifting from the streets to online facilitation. For example, in May 2013, police conducted a web-based reverse sting where officers posted two decoy ads on websites known for prostitution and sex trafficking, and within 24 hours more than 75 calls were made from interested male sex buyers. As a result of the investigation, five male sex buyers were arrested upon their arrival to the predetermined location by undercover officers. In August 2013, officers conducted a similar web-based operation resulting in the arrest of nine male sex buyers, whose names and ages were provided to news outlets.
In March 2018, four men from around the metro area were arrested in a web-based prostitution sting in Tigard. The sting was held in coordination with the Lake Oswego Police Department, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. Those arrested and charged with commercial sexual solicitation had their identities released to the media. The four arrested sex buyers were from a pool of over 70 contacts received by investigators who used various sex advertisements to entice prostitution customers to meet at an unidentified Tigard hotel. A similar sting conducted in late 2017, resulted in 40 contacts; detectives could have arrested each of those individuals, but they instead chose to give the potential sex buyers a verbal warning, under the condition that they would be arrested if they were caught in another prostitution situation.
Sex buyers have also been apprehended as a result of residential reports to local law enforcement. For example. in September 2014, TPD officers conducted another web-based reversal resulting in the arrest of eight male sex buyers. In this instance, however, police were compelled to conduct the sting after management at a local hotel contacted the department to complain about suspected prostitution occurring on the property. TPD officers then worked with the business to stage a sting on the premises. Police placed a decoy listing suggesting prostitution to a website known for commercial sex, and arranged to meet the men who responded and made an offer of money for sex. Following the investigation, all of the arrestees’ names were released to the public. When asked about the operation, a TPD representative stated:
“The Tigard Police Department believes maintaining a zero tolerance policy regarding prostitution is a way to help draw attention and address this criminal venture while possibly preventing the vulnerable from entering into this enterprise.”
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- To catch a stoner (2009)
- Police halt prostitution sting (2009)
- “Tigard Police Cracking Down on Prostitution and Johns”, Albany Tribune, May 21 2013.
- “Tigard Police Sting Operation Targets Johns, Prostitution”, FOX/KPTV-TV 12, May 21 2013.
- “Prostitution Sting Nabs Nine”, Portland Tribune, August 30 2013.
- “Tigard Police Arrest Nine in Prostitution Sting”, Oregonian, August 30 2013.
- “Fund Manager Who Donated to Anti-Gay Marriage Initiative Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Business Insider, September 4 2013.
- https://patch.com/prostitution-sting-nabs-4-men-tigard-police-say (March 2018)
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- “Eight Arrested in Tigard Prostitution Sting”, Portland Tribune, September 5 2014.
- Tigard police set up prostitution sting, arrest 8 at area hotel (2014)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Teen Was Victim of Sex Trafficking along West Coast before Beaverton Police Intervened, Documents Say”, Oregonian, August 12 2014.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Oregon Bones May Be Tied to Green River Killings”, Spokane Spokesman-Review, June 15 1985.
- “Green River Force Looking for Link with Oregon Killings”, Spokane Chronicle, June 19 1985.
- “More Bones Uncovered in Tigard”, Bend Bulletin, June 21 1985.
- “Victim’s Bones, Found in 2 States, Baffle Police”, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, February 16 1990.
- “Police Net Catches the Wrong Man”, Seattle Times, November 6 2003.
- “Police Search for More Victims of Alleged Craigslist Attacker”, ABC/KATU-TV 2, November 19 2007.
- “Tigard Police Crack Down on Online Prostitution”, Oregonian, August 7 2008.
- “Tigard Police Sweep Craigslist Prostitution”, Portland Tribune, August 13 2008.
- “High Court Erases the Convictions of Craigslist Rapist”, Tigard Times, July 26 2012.
- “Oregon Supreme Court Says Convictions, Except Rape, Still Stand in Tigard Craigslist Case”, Oregonian, November 13 2012.
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