West Monroe, LA
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West Monroe is a city of approximately 12,400 residents, located in Ouachita Parish in northern Louisiana. Prostitution and sex trafficking are known to occur in the city. For example, in 2002 a woman was charged with enticing a juvenile under the age of 18 to travel in interstate commerce to engage in sexual activity; using a computer and/or an Internet service provider to entice a person under the age of 18 to engage in a sexual act; and knowingly transporting a female in interstate commerce from West Monroe to Virginia with the intent of having them engage in prostitution. In March, 2018, five arrests were made at two massage parlors in West Monroe during a sting operation, which stemmed from an investigation into possible human trafficking. In August, 2021, a Monroe man was arrested on four counts of 1st Degree Rape and one count of Human Trafficking. According to the arrest report, an officer was sent to Jackson Street in Monroe in reference to a rape that happened on South Riverfront Street in West Monroe. Officers say they spoke with the victim when they arrived on the scene and the victim told them her fiancé let three men rape her, performing unwanted sexual intercourse. The victim told police she told the men to stop and they punched her and kicked her. The victim told them this has happened at least four time in the prior two weeks, with the last rape was on August 1, 2021. The victim took police to the place where it happened, which was near the 600 Block of South Riverfront in West Monroe. When the officer and the victim were headed back to their home, the victim saw and identified the trafficker walking down the street. The man admitted to taking the victim to South Riverfront and letting three males rape the victim on four different occasions. Officers say the victim has a mental disability and diminished mental capacity. The man was booked into Ouachita Corrections Center and charged with four counts of First Degree Rape and one count of Human Trafficking.
To combat consumer level demand that drives all sex trafficking and prostitution, the West Monroe Police Department has partnered with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office on several occasions to conduct street-level reverse stings that target local sex buyers. At least six “john stings” have occurred in the city, beginning as early as 2002. The city lies directly across the Ouachita River from the larger city of Monroe, and West Monroe officers have at times coordinated efforts with the Monroe Police Department. For example, in December 2017 a prostitution sting at a West Monroe motel resulted in the arrest of four men who allegedly solicited the services of a prostitute. In each of the separate cases, the men were accused of contacting a woman and offering her money (ranging from $50 to $75 dollars) in exchange for sex. The names of the arrested men were released to news outlets. At the time, the Ouachita Parish Sheriff deputies said this was an ongoing investigation.
Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “Ouachita”, Monroe News-Star, October 13 2002.
- “Ouachita Deputies Arrest 25 in 3 Days”, Baton Rouge Advocate, October 21 2003.
- “For the Record”, Monroe News-Star, October 18 2004.
- “Police Report”, Monroe News-Star, October 17 2005.
- “9 Grabbed in W.M. Solicitation Sting”, Monroe News-Star, June 22 2004.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets One Arrest”, Monroe News-Star, July 28 2007.
- “Prostitution sting nets four arrests.” arklatexhomepage.com, December 17, 2017.
- http://www.arklatexhomepage.com/news/local-news/prostitution-sting-nets-four-arrests (2017)
Sex Trafficking, Prostitution, Related Violence in the Area:
- “Gilland Pleads Guilty to Sex Charge”, Monroe News-Star, May 14 2002.
- https://www.knoe.com/Sex-trafficking-sting-leads-to-another-arrest-in-West-Monroe (2017)
- https://www.kedm.org/post/multiple-arrests-west-monroe-prostitution-ring#stream/0 (2018)
- https://www.hannapub.com/wmpd-massage-parlors-tied-to-human-trafficking (2018)
- https://www.myarklamiss.com/news/local-news/monroe-man-arrested-and-charged-with-first-degree-rape-and-human-trafficking/ (2021)
- https://www.myarklamiss.com/investigation-leads-to-west-monroe-man-behind-bars-for-possessing-child-pornography/ (2022)
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