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Located in Kootenai County, Worley is a town of about 220 residents in northwestern Idaho, near the cities of Spokane, WA and Coeur d’Alene. It is within the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation. Prostitution has been well-documented in the town and throughout the region. Among the more serious issues related to the area’s commercial sex industry is sex trafficking. In 2018, two local non-profits, the Idaho Anti-Trafficking Coalition and the Boise-based Community Outreach Behavioral Services (COBS), which provides trauma care for human trafficking victims, collaborated to present a seminar about sex trafficking to about 125 attendees at Lake City Church.
While police responses have focused largely on investigating the supply and distribution components of the commercial sex market (i.e., sex traffickers/pimps and prostituted women), there have been arrests of sex buyers who ultimately create the demand driving all such markets. For example, in April 2015, nine people were arrested during a multi-agency operation targeting prostitution at Coeur d’Alene Casino, located in tribal lands in the town of Worley. Casino management had seen an increase in activities that indicated prostitution and contacted Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police for help. Information from Washington law enforcement revealed some of the people seen by casino security cameras were suspected of being prostituted women and sex buyers. The Coeur d’Alene Tribal Police coordinated with the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI to handle shared jurisdictional issues. Over the two-night operation, nine arrests were made; eight women were charged with prostitution and one male sex buyer was charged with solicitation of prostitution. The identity of the sex buyer and other arrestees were publicly disclosed. Investigators believe more arrests could have been made, but several social media posts warning of the “prostitution sting” at the Casino were made after the first night.
Street-Level Reverse Sting, Cameras, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/prostitution-sting-at-idaho-casino-nets-nine-suspects (2015)
- https://www.nbcrightnow.com/women-man-arrested-in-sting-at-idaho-casino (2015)
- https://magicvalley.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/women-man-arrested-in-prostitution-sting-at-idaho-casino (2015)
- https://www.kxly.com/news/north-idaho/nine-busted-in-coeur-dalene-casino-sex-sting (2015)
- https://www.khq.com/news/prostitution-sting-at-coeur-dalene-casino-yields-nine-arrests (2015)
- https://www.inlander.com/Bloglander/archives/prostitutes-migrate-to-idaho-following-spokane-enforcement-actions (2015)
- “Nine Arrested in Prostitution Sting at Idaho Casino,” CBS/KREM-TV 2, May 6 2015.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- Prostitute is fined $300 (1989)
- “Police Suspect Valley Couple of Leading Prostitution Ring,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 12 1990.
- “Court Charges Spokane Man with Trying to Hire Prostitutes,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 16 1990
- “Undercover Agent Interviewed by Pair in Prostitution-Ring Case,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, October 16 1990.
- “Formal Charges Filed in Escort Service Case,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, January 17 1991.
- “Prostitution Guilt Admitted,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, February 21 1991.
- https://lmtribune.com/northwest/stateline-idaho-raids-may-mean-the-end-of-an-era-live-and-let-live-attitude (1992)
- “Escort Service Operator Faces Laundering Charges; She Allegedly Used Casino to Hide Prostitution Profits,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, February 3 2007.
- “Plea Deal Made in Prostitution Ring; Woman Accused of Laundering Money at Casino,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, July 28 2007.
- https://www.krem.com/article/news/local/kootenai-county/nine-arrested-in-prostitution-sting-at-idaho-casino (2015)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/south-korean-pleads-guilty-to-smuggling-people-into-idaho (2005)
- https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/pair-held-in-idaho-human-smuggling-case (2005)
- “Police: North Idaho College Official Offered Scholarships for Sex,” ABC/KIFI-TV 8, February 19 2015.
- “Sex for Grants Plot Alleged; Police: NIC Director of Financial Aid Faces Five Felony Charges,” Coeur d’Alene Press, February 19 2015.
- https://www.cdapress.com/local_news/another_sexsting_culpritgets_prison (2018)
- Exposing human trafficking darkness (2018)
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