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Washington County is located in central eastern New York on the border with Vermont, roughly 50 miles north of Albany. The county has a population of about 61,000 residents and its county seat is Fort Edward. Prostitution and sex trafficking having been documented in the area, including instances of sexual exploitation of children.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has engaged in at least one opportunistic arrest of a sex buyer. In April 2016, a man and woman were allegedly spotted by a landowner having sex outside a vehicle, which the informant reported to police. Police followed the vehicle to Argyle, where they were pulled over. The woman was charged with prostitution and the man was charged with reckless endangerment, public lewdness, and patronizing a prostitute. The arrestees’ identifying information was released to the public.
There has also been at least one recorded reverse sting operation conducted in the county. In July 2019, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested 7 men after they attempted to meet with a minor for paid sexual abuse. Investigators from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson Falls Police, New York State Police, and the FBI collaborated in the investigation. The men’s charges included attempted rape, attempted criminal sex act, and at least two charges of patronizing a person for prostitution. Their names, ages, and hometowns were released to the press.
- Washington County Sheriff’s Office
- Warren County Sheriff’s Office
- Hudson Falls Police Department
- New York State Police
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- https://cbs6albany.com/7-arrested-accused-of-attempting-to-meet-with-a-minor-in-washington-county (2019)
- https://poststar.com/police-seven-arrested-during-sex-sting-in-washington-county (2019)
Sex Buyer Arrests, Identity Disclosure:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: