Topeka, KS

Tactics Used

Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Topeka is the capital city of Kansas with a population of approximately 125,000.  Prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified by law enforcement as problems in the city, and residents have complained to police about prostitution in certain neighborhoods.

In response to such concerns, police have targeted consumer-level demand for commercial sex.  Since 1985, the Topeka Police Department has conducted reverse stings. For example, in August 2012, the Topeka Police Department  conducted a web-based reverse sting, which resulted in twelve arrests.  In 2013, a former Highland Park High School assistant principal charged with patronizing a prostitute reached a diversion agreement with the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office.  The man had been arrested in the August 2012 reverse sting.   The school board fired the assistant principal after his arrest.  A diversion agreement required him to take “education classes,” pay restitution and do community service for a period of time.  Successful completion will result in his case being dismissed, and man not having a criminal record.

In 2019, a Florida man was charged after he traveled to Topeka to buy sex with what he presumed was a 16-year-old girl. Topeka Police, Homeland Security, FBI, and KBI joined forces in human trafficking investigation that resulted in the arrest.  The man was charged with Attempted Aggravated Human Trafficking and Attempted Commercial Exploitation of a Child, and his bond was set at $250,000.

In July, 2018, the Kansas Attorney General announced a new awareness campaign in Kansas is aimed at cutting the demand for prostitution as a way to fight human trafficking. The campaign involves state agencies and local advocacy groups teaming up to push the “Demand an End” initiative, which features education and announcements warning people that buyers of sex face charges. The campaign intends to promote a culture where buying sex is not acceptable. It is based on the assumption that the money from sex buyers fuels a marketplace that enables sex trafficking.

Key Partners

  • Topeka Police Department
  • Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office

Key Sources

State Kansas
Type City
Population 122642
Location
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