Wailuku, HI

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

Wailuku is a census-designated place in Maui County, Hawaii with a population of approximately 18,000 residents. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well-documented problems on the islands in general, as well as in Wailuku specifically.

To address the consumer-level demand that motivates all sex trafficking, demand-reduction tactics have been employed locally. Since 1985, the Maui County Police Department has conducted at least two web-based reverse stings in Wailuku. For example, a set of operations conducted in 2007, resulted in the arrest of 16 male sex buyers. While arrests of prostituted persons have been made in the past, these particular investigations concentrated on arresting sex buyers. One of the operations involved an undercover female police officer who stood in public areas late at night in Wailuku and Lahaina. She was approached by sex buyers and solicited for sex in exchange for money. The Maui County Police Department’s Vice Division arrested nine male sex buyers. The same type of “reverse operation” was conducted near a Lahaina park and resulted in arrests of three Lahaina residents.

According to police, in most cases, defendants enter guilty pleas to avoid further the embarrassment of going to trial when charged with the petty misdemeanor. A person convicted of committing the offense of prostitution for the first time in Hawaii faces a mandatory fine of $500 and the possibility of probation or being ordered to spend up to 30 days in jail. If a defendant defaults on paying the fine, they can be ordered to perform community service.

State Hawaii
Type City
Population 17523
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