Wake Forest is a town of approximately 30,000 residents, located just north of Raleigh in North Carolina. Although prostitution is reported to be fairly limited in the town, officers from the Wake Forest Police Department (WFPD) contend that prostitution is often associated with serious crimes such as rape and assault. The WFPD has proactively targeted sex buyers by conducting a web-based reverse sting in March 2013. After receiving reports that advertisements for commercial sex available in the surrounding area were being posted on Backpage.com, the WFPD placed decoy advertisements on the website and arranged to meet the men who responded at a local hotel. As the men arrived and attempted to exchange money for sexual services, they were apprehended by police. Over the course of six hours, six johns were arrested. All had their names and other identifying information publicized by the local media. Eighteen months after the reverse sting, news reports indicated that for one of the arrested sex buyers, charges had been dropped after completion of 75 hours of community service at a local non-profit.
- Web-based Reverse Sting and Shaming:
- “Six Men Arrested in Wake Forest Prostitution Sting”, WRAL-TV, March 15 2013.
- “6 Arrested in Wake Forest Prostitution Sting, Including Champion Poker Player”, Raleigh News & Observer, March 16 2013.
- Community Service:
- Background on local prostitution: