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Windsor Locks is a town of approximately 13,000 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.
Sex trafficking cases have also involved child sexual abuse materials (CSAM, often called “child pornography” in state laws). For example, in September, 2022, an East Hartford resident was sentenced to more than 11 years in federal prison for child sex trafficking. He had been charged along with his associate, who will serve 8 years of federal imprisonment. He was convicted for conspiring to recruit, entice, and transport a 16-year-old girl to be subjected to commercial sexual abuse. In October, 2019, the two men picked up the minor victim and took her to a hotel in East Windsor. When they were at the hotel, they took photos of the minor victim and posted them on a website to advertise her “sexual services.” They arranged sex trafficking appointments for the minor victim and took all of the money generated. The following day, they posted more advertisements on the same website and arranged more commercial sexual abuse at a hotel in Windsor Locks. Further investigation revealed that they both sexually and physically assaulted the minor victim knowing she was under the age of 18.
Police efforts to contain prostitution and sex trafficking, and their associated crimes, have included 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 prostituted women and male sex buyers 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 sex buyers who was 17 to one who was 57. All of those charged with patronizing prostitution were from Connecticut. Only one of the suspected prostituted women 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.
- Windsor Locks Police Department
- Criminal Investigations Division
- Patrol Division
- FBI Task Force for Missing and Exploited Children
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “11 Men Charged with Soliciting Prostitution in Windsor Locks, on Valentine’s Day”, Hartford Courant, February 15 2014.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 11 Arrests”, CBS/WTIC-AM 1080, February 15 2014.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 11 Arrests on Valentine’s Day”, Windsor Patch, January 15 2014.
- “Springfield Officer, 10 Others Arrested in Prostitution Bust”, NBC/WVIT-TV 30, February 15 2014.
- “Springfield Officer, 10 Others Charged with Soliciting Prostitution”, CBS/WFSB-TV 3, February 15 2014.
- “Springfield Police Detective Arrested in Conn. Prostitution Sting”, ABC/WGGB-TV 40, February 15 2014.
- Windsor Locks CT Press Release November 2017
- https://patch.com/prostitution-sting-yields-15-arrests-windsor-locks (2017)
- “Judge Grants Special Probation to Ex-Enfield Coach Charged with Patronizing a Prostitute in WL,” Manchester Journal Inquirer, March 6 2014.
Sex Buyer Fired or Resigned Due to Arrest:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Windsor Locks Spa Owner Charged with Human Trafficking”, Windsor Locks Patch, December 7 2012.
- “Windsor Locks Woman Charged with Human Trafficking”, CBS/WFSB-TV 3, December 7 2012.
- “Police Arrest New York Man for Promoting Prostitution in Windsor Locks”, CBS/WFSB-TV 3, April 3 2013.
- “WL Police Charge Second Person in Prostitution, Human Trafficking Case”, Windsor Locks Patch, April 4 2013.
- “Police Rescue 16-Year-Old from Prostitution Ring”, Hartford Courant, January 16 2014.
- “Teenager Removed from Prostitution Ring; Returned to Family”, CBS/WFSB-TV 3, January 16 2014.
- “Victim of Child Prostitution Ring Rescued from Windsor Locks Motel: Cops”, NBC/WVIT-TV 30, January 16 2014.
- “VIDEO: FBI Breaks Up Child Prostitution Ring in Windsor Locks”, ABC/WTNH-TV 8, January 16 2014.
- “Windsor Locks Police, FBI Remove 16-Year-Old from Prostitution Ring”, Vernon Reminder News, January 16 2014.
- “Police: 16-Year-Old Rescued from Prostitution Ring”, Windsor Locks Patch, January 17 2014.
- “Windsor Locks Police Find Teen Prostitute at Motel”, Manchester Journal Inquirer, January 17 2014.
- “State Takes Aim at Sex Trafficking of Minors”, Hartford Courant, January 24 2014.
- “Looking Inside Connecticut’s Child Sex Trade”, Hartford Courant, January 29 2014.
- “Conn. Hotel Arrest Highlights Trafficking Concerns”, Native American Times, January 30 2014.
- https://www.journalinquirer.com/second-man-pleads-guilty-sex-trafficking-east-windsor-windsor-locks (2021)
- https://www.fox61.com/east-hartford-resident-sentenced-11-years-for-child-sex-trafficking (2022)
- https://sports.yahoo.com/east-hartford-man-admits-conspiring (2022)