Williamsburg is an independent city of about 14,000 residents located on the Virginia Peninsula, in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the state. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and lies between Richmond and Newport News/Hampton metro regions. Prostitution and sex trafficking are well documented problems within the city, and throughout the region, dating back to the 1800s. Recent examples include a case in 2013 in which two women were arrested in Williamsburg in a prostitution sting at an unidentified apartment complex. Williamsburg Police Department officers monitored a conversation between two women and an undercover person who was cooperating with police. The women are alleged to have discussed various sexual acts with the person before one suspect disrobed and accepted $40 for the anticipated act. Police then intervened and arrested both women, who admitted they had been engaging in acts of prostitution. One suspect faced one count of detaining a person for prostitution and one count of receiving money from that act, both of which are felonies. Another suspect faced one count of prostitution or solicitation of a prostitute, also a felony. In July, 2019, a man wanted on charges of sex trafficking in Virginia was arrested and jailed after a weeklong manhunt that came to an end when he surrendered to police after barricading himself in a Williamsburg motel room. Williamsburg police said the man had allegedly tried to force two victims into prostitution the prior week. Police were initially called after motel maintenance workers heard noises coming from a supposedly vacant room. When the workers entered the room, the suspect pointed a gun at them and told them to get on the ground and then barricaded himself in another vacant room at the motel.
- Williamsburg Police Department
Reverse Sting, Shaming:
- https://www.williamsburgva.gov/home/showdocument?id=21715 (2020)
- https://www.nbc12.com/2020/01/15/charged-result-prostitution-bust-va/ (2020)
- https://wydaily.com/local-news/2020/01/15/prostitution-investigation-leads-to-13-arrests-in-williamsburg/ (2020)
- https://www.newsbreak.com/virginia/williamsburg/12-men-one-woman-arrested-in-williamsburg-prostitution-sting-police-say (2020)
- https://www.dailypress.com/virginiagazette/va-vg-prostitution-sting-williamsburg-arrests (2020)
Background on Local Prostitution and Sex Trafficking:
- https://scholarworks.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5988&context=etd (2012)
- https://wydaily.com/local-news-old/2013/10/10/two-women-arrested-in-williamsburg-prostitution-sting/ (2013)
- https://wydaily.com/local-news-old/2014/03/15/woman-pleads-guilty-to-williamsburg-prostitution-charges/ (2014)
- https://www.facebook.com/WilliamsburgPD/posts/on-february-22-2019-williamsburg-police-department-arrested (2019)
- https://www.wsls.com/man-wanted-for-sex-trafficking-arrested-after-barricading-himself-inside-williamsburg-motel/ (2019)
Background on Regional Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation:
- “House Raided, 5 Arrested in Prostitution Case”, Newport News Daily Press, November 26 2008.
- “Illegals Busted in ‘Bawdy’ House”, NBC/WAVY-TV 10, November 26 2008.
- “Two Newport News Men Charged with Child Sex Trafficking”, Newport News Daily Press, July 1 2011.
- “Two Peninsula Men Accused of Prostituting Girl, 13”, Virginian Pilot, July 1 2011.
- “Two Arrested in Newport News in Sex Trafficking Investigation,” CBS/WTKR-TV 3, July 9 2015.
- “Hampton Roads is a Hub of Human Trafficking, Experts Say. Virginian-Pilot, March 22, 2018.
Background on Prostitution in the Region:
- “Police Target Prostitution; NN Sting Results in More Arrests”, Newport News Daily Press, September 7 1992.
- “Police, Media Spend Night on Prostitution, Drug Sting”, Newport News Daily Press, November 7 1992.
- “Police, Prostitutes, Publicity and the Average ‘Nice Guys’”, Newport News Daily Press, December 4 1992.
- “NN Protest”, Newport News Daily Press, October 9 1995.
- “NN Prostitution Sting Nets 17”, Newport News Daily Press, November 23 1998.
- “Ivy Farms Residents Complain of Prostitution, Drugs”, Newport News Daily Press, January 15 1999.
- “Indictment May Close NN’s Patton Motel; Business Called Public Nuisance, Neighbors Pleased”, Newport News Daily Press, March 19 1999.
- “Patton Owner at Least Guilty of Indifference”, Newport News Daily Press, March 21 1999.
- “4 Women Face Prostitution Charges”, Newport News Daily Press, April 8 2003.
- “Feedback”, Newport News Daily Press, April 10 2003.
- “Immigrant Gets Jail for Role in Brothels”, Newport News Daily Press, July 14 2009.
- “Oldest Profession Gets Fresh Scrutiny”, Newport News Daily Press, December 13 2009.
- “It’s No Fairy Tale for Prostitutes”, Newport News Daily Press, January 3 2010.
- “Newport News Police Sting Targets Online Adult Ads”, Newport News Daily Press, February 24 2010.
- “UPDATE: For Sale Online: Sex, Drugs and Stolen Goods”, Newport News Daily Press, February 26 2010.
- “Newport News Police Arrest Five During Internet Prostitution Operation”, Newport News Daily Press, April 24 2013.
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Region:
- “Ex-Sailor Linked to Slayings of Prostitutes Worldwide”, New York Times, April 14 2000.
- “Formal Charges Looming for Man Linked to Serial Killings”, Harlan Daily Enterprise, April 15 2000.
- “A Killer on Land and Sea?”, Newsweek, April 24 2000.
- “The Mystery of Katrina: Prostitute’s Death, Path in Life an Enigma”, Newport News Daily Press, May 4 2003.
- “Man Convicted of Second-Degree Murder’, Virginian Pilot, April 6 2005.