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Westchester County is a county of approximately 960,000 residents, located just north of New York City. It includes the communities of Elmsford, New Rochelle, Ossining, Peekskill, Rye, Rye Brook, White Plains, Yorktown, and Yonkers. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been documented in the county, including sex trafficking of minors in the foster care system. In February, 2014, it was announced that a widespread prostitution sting brought in connection with the Super Bowl netted at least 28 arrests in Westchester and Rockland counties. The arrests included seven who were accused with promoting prostitution, and at least 21 women who were accused of prostitution itself. Half of the arrests occurred in Rockland County, while the other half were taken into custody in Westchester County. The Super Bowl operation, carried out over six months, involved police departments in Greenburgh, Yonkers, White Plains, Rye Brook, New Rochelle and Clarkstown. In a case announced in August, 2022, law enforcement agencies estimated there were hundreds of victims in the Hudson valley linked to a single sex trafficking operation. The FBI, the Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, Greenburgh Police Department, and the Westchester County Police Department announced they were seeking additional victims of the human trafficking investigation, after they had arrested the alleged leader of the conspiracy and charged her with sex trafficking in Westchester County and elsewhere. Prostitution and violence against women in prostitution have been documented in the county’s communities and surrounding areas, e.g., a woman was stabbed and others were raped at knife-point by a prospective sex buyer at an Elmsford hotel. Local sex trafficking cases have also involved child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often called “child pornography” in state laws). For example, a man was arrested in 2003 on charges of kidnapping and sexually abusing a trafficked 17-year-old girl in Yonkers. He was ultimately convicted of possessing CSAM in the case.
In an effort to curtail prostitution activity in the area, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety has periodically conducted longer-term web stings. One operation, spanning nine months in 2007-2008, successfully identified and arrested over 60 individuals attempting to sell or purchase sex through Craigslist. Many had their names and other identifying information released to the public. When asked about the sting by members of the local media, WCPD officers noted that its principal aim was to supplement and reinforce existing street-level operations being carried out by town law enforcement within the county. You can read more about these operations on their respective city pages:
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Westchester Police Bust 13 in Craigslist Prostitution Sting”, White Plains Journal News, September 28 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets DEP Officer”, New York Daily News, January 13 2008.
- “District Attorney: White Plains Man Caught in Prostitution Sting”, White Plains Daily Voice, September 27 2012.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.nytimes.com/1992/some-ex-prostitutes-are-helping-those-left-behind (1992)
- “S&M Prostitution Arrest at Westchester Estate”, Danbury News-Times, February 28 2007.
- “Police Arrest Alleged Craigslist Prostitution Ringleaders”, Time Warner Cable News NY1, May 20 2009.
- “High End Prostitution Bust in Westchester Co.”, ABC/WABC-TV 9, October 9 2009.
- https://abc7ny.com/archive/6718753/ (2009)
- “Prostitution Arrests in Somers”, Westchester News Online, September 27 2010.
- “Two Arrested for Prostitution in Yorktown”, Westchester News Online, December 3 2010.
- “Two Arrested in Ossining on Prostitution Charges”, Westchester News Online, December 22 2010.
- “Prostitute Arrested by Monument Park Reflects Rise in Illegal Activity,” Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch, September 23 2011.
- https://patch.com/new-york/peekskill/peekskill-police-arrest-woman-after-year-long-investigation (2013)
- https://dailyvoice.com/new-york/super-bowl-prostitution-sting-includes-westchester-arrests (2014)
- https://www.lohud.com/pre-super-bowl-prostitution-sting-nets-28-arrests-in-rockland-westchester-counties (2014)
- https://riverheadnewsreview.timesreview.com/police-arrest-woman-hotel-parking-lot-dispute (2015)
- https://www.newjerseyhills.com/woman-arrested-and-charged-with-prostitution-in-fairfield (2015)
- https://dailyvoice.com/alleged-elmsford-prostitute-arrested-in-scarsdale-police-say (2017)
- https://dailyvoice.com/woman-charged-in-prostitution-sting-at-northern-westchester-spa (2o19)
- https://dailyvoice.com/police-fire/two-charged-with-prostitution-after-bust-at-spa-in-westchester (2021)
- https://dailyvoice.com/3-massage-parlors-in-larchmont-mamaroneck-closed-due-to-prostitution (2022)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation, Related CSAM in the Area:
- “Prostitution Ring Victimizes 5 Teens,” Newburgh Evening News, June 1 1977.
- “County Police Initiate Human Trafficking Investigation,” Peekskill-Cortlandt Patch, February 7 2011.
- “Traffic Stop by County Police Leads to Human Trafficking Investigation”, Westchester News Online, February 7 2011.
- “Yonkers Man Convicted in White Plains Federal Court of Kidnapping and Sex Trafficking a 19-Year-Old Victim,” USAO Southern District of New York, November 5 2015.
- https://patch.com/new-york/whiteplains/16-yo-white-plains-girl-rescued-sex-traffickers-fbi (2016)
- https://dailyvoice.com/new-york/whiteplains/police-fire/fbi-rescues-white-plains-teen-girl-from-sex-trafficking (2017)
- https://www.berkshireeagle.com/2-human-trafficking-suspects-to-be-tried-jointly-in-berkshire-superior-court (2018)
- https://dailyvoice.com/19-accused-of-sex-trafficking-at-westchester-residential-treatment-center (2018)
- https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/prostitution-ring-leaders-arrested-after-operating-in-at-least-seven-states (2018)
- https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/pr/westchester-man-sentenced-19-years-white-plains-federal-court-sex-trafficking-minors (2019)
- https://hudsonvalleypost.com/fbi-100s-of-sex-trafficking-victims-likely-in-hudson-valley-nyc/ (2022)
- https://www.foxnews.com/ny-sex-trafficker-may-have-hundreds-migrant-victims-forced-prostitution-fbi (2022)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: