Victoria, TX

Tactics Used

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

Victoria is a city of approximately 66,900 residents, located in 30 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico in southeastern Texas’ Victoria County. Nicknamed “The Crossroads,” the community is roughly equidistant from Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio and Austin. Cases of prostitution and sex trafficking have been reported in the area for several years. Since 2009, the city has documented at least three separate incidents of adults attempting to exploit minor girls for commercial sex.

In response, the Victoria Police Department conduct periodic reverse stings targeting johns. VPD officers have conducted at least two street-level operations, in August 2006 and September 2007 respectively, that resulted in the arrest of four sex buyers.

In September 2014, the VPD conducted a web-based sting that netted 15 johns. According to police, the two-day operation was initiated after police received “citizen complaints alleging prostitution solicitation via the internet.” Officers then placed a decoy advertisement to a website known for prostitution activity, and arranged to meet the men who responded to the listing at an undisclosed location. When the men arrived and made an explicit offer of money for sex, they were apprehended by police. Of the 15 johns arrested, only seven were Victoria residents. All of the men’s names and arrest photos were released to the public.

In October 2015, the Victoria Advocate reported that at least one of the men arrested during the September 2014 reversal had pled guilty to solicitation of prostitution, and been sentenced to one year of probation and 50 hours of mandatory community service, plus $500 in fines.

Key Partners

  • Victoria Police Department

Key Sources

State Texas
Type City
Population 66932
Location
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