Uniontown, PA

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

Uniontown is a city in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Fayette County, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh, and has a population of approximately 10,000. Prostitution has been identified as a substantial problem in the city, and residents have complained about unwanted solicitation and other negative effects of the local commercial sex market. Cases investigated have included one large-scale escort service prostitution operation with records of over 1,800 calls from male sex buyers.

To combat consumer-level demand, local law enforcement have conducted reverse stings since at least 1996, if not earlier. That year, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that a male sex buyer had been arrested after soliciting an undercover Pennsylvania State Trooper in Uniontown and fleeing the scene after law enforcement attempted to arrest him, nearly running over another trooper in the process. Pennsylvania State Police have conducted periodic reverse stings since that time, at times running sex buyer details in parallel with sweeps targeting prostituted women. Though some male sex buyers’ identities were reported in press, the majority of the offenders’ names were not publicized.

In early 2012, however, the Fayette County Drug Task Force conducted a web-based reverse sting which resulted in the arrests of eight men for solicitation. Each of the men was arrested after responding to online advertisements suggesting prostitution and arranging to meet a female undercover officer at a Uniontown motel. Unlike in prior city stings, the names, ages, and addresses of the arrested sex buyers were published in local news outlets.

Uniontown residents have, for their part, taken some steps to target underlying demand for prostitution. In August 2006, media outlets reported that some local residents had begun writing down license plate numbers of cars seen idling in high-stroll areas, and sending the information to city police.

Key Partners

  • Uniontown Police Department
  • Fayette County Drug Task Force
  • Fayette County District Attorney’s Office
  • Pennsylvania State Police

Key Sources

Street-Level Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:

Identity Disclosure:

  • “Man Arrested after Chase,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 6 1996.
  • “John Does’ Attorneys Continue Attempt to Keep Names Secret,” Connellsville Daily Courier, June 5 2001.
  • “Names of John Does Revealed,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 9 2001.
  • “John Does Halt Court Action,” Uniontown Herald-Standard, January 21 2002.
  • “Troopers Charge 4 in Prostitution Sting,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, October 19 2002.
  • “Prison Guard Charged in Prostitution Case,” Uniontown Herald-Standard, September 29 2004.
  • “Jail Guard Suspended after Prostitution Charge,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 30 2004.
  • “Man Formally Charged in Prostitution Sting,” Uniontown Herald-Standard, June 24 2006.

Neighborhood Action:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:

State Pennsylvania
Type City
Population 10372
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