Windsor Locks, CT

Tactics Used

Buyer Arrests
Reverse stings
Shaming
Auto seizure
Community service
Public education
Neighborhood action
SOAP orders
John school
Letters
Cameras
Web stings
License suspension

Windsor Locks is a town of approximately 12,500 residents, located north of Hartford in central Connecticut. Prostitution in the area has generated several complaints to police, who have linked local activity to numerous crimes and other negative impacts. The town has also documented cases of child sex trafficking. For example,  in December 2013, the Windsor Locks Police Department and the FBI Task Force for Missing and Exploited Children developed information that a regional sex trafficking ring involving underage children was operating in Windsor Locks, among other locations.  Members of the WLPD and the FBI Task Force conducted an investigation which led to the recovery of a 16-year-old girl from a local Motel 6, where she was being exploited for prostitution. Earlier in 2013, in a separate case, a couple was charged with human trafficking, second-degree promoting prostitution, second-degree unlawful restraint, cruelty to persons, second-degree breach of peace and second-degree threatening.  According to police, the victim told police that she had been lured to a local business from New York, and upon arrival, was not allowed to leave or contact anyone for help, and was told that she could make money for food by performing sexual acts on customers at a Windsor Locks spa.

Among police efforts to contain prostitution and sex trafficking has been at least two operations targeting consumer-level demand.  In February 2014, Windsor Locks Police arrested 11 men in an online reverse sting entitled “Operation Cupid.”  Police placed an ad on a website used by those seeking to purchase sex; an undercover officer posing as a prostituted woman responded to ads and met potential buyers at a hotel.  According to police, the reversal was designed to address the numerous complaints of prostitution occurring in local motels along the Route 75 business district.  Police say that this activity has led to an increase in larcenies, illegal drug use, child exploitation, disorderly conduct, as well as other related crimes and quality of life conditions.  The sting was a joint effort between members of the WLPD Criminal Investigation and Patrol divisions.  The names, ages, and home addresses of the arrested sex buyers were provided to the media, and published in some news outlets.  At least two of the men arrested in the 2014 Windsor Locks reverse sting have been granted “accelerated rehabilitation” for first offenders that could dismiss the charge against them.  Accelerated rehabilitation is a diversion option authorized by statute that may be applied to a range of low-level offenses; it is a probation program in which persons charged with first offenses for a broad range of crimes may have their charges dismissed if they remain arrest-free for a fixed period of time and meet other conditions.  People must apply for the accelerated rehabilitation program.  In the case of arrests for sex buyers,  Enfield Superior Court imposed community service is the key condition that must be satisfied in addition to avoiding rearrest.  The two men arrested in the February 2014 reverse sting were required to perform at least 50 hours of community service in order to clear their charges for soliciting.

Loss of employment is another consequence of buying sex that has occurred within the county. For example, in February, 2014, an Enrico Fermi High School assistant basketball coach resigned after being charged with soliciting a prostituted woman in Windsor Locks. He was one of the men arrested in the February, 2014 reverse sting.  The man had worked as an assistant coach for the junior varsity basketball team for less than one year.

In November 2017 a set of operations targeted both suspected prostitutes and johns at businesses along the Route 75 corridor.  Nine men were charged with patronizing a prostitute.  The ages of the arrested people range from a suspected john who was 17 to one who was 57.  All of those charged with patronizing a prostitute were from Connecticut, but only one of the suspected prostitutes had a Connecticut address, and were known to have come from New York or as far away as Tracy, California.  Police said they launched the undercover operations after getting complaints about prostitution activity that was being conducted in area businesses.

 

Key Partners

Key Sources

Reverse Sting:

Web-Based Reverse Sting and Shaming:

Community Service:

Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

State Connecticut
Type City
Population 12498
Location
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