Wyandotte County is an area located in northeast Kansas with a population of roughly 154,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking are problems known to exist in the county. In 2010, a crackdown on underage sex trafficking resulted in two arrests of sex buyers. The state ran a sting operation using a decoy ad for child prostitution, and in less than 72 hours, two men had traveled to an undisclosed location in western Wyandotte County and were arrested. Sex buyers arrested in more conventional reverse stings may be sent to the Veronica’s Voice john school in Kansas City, although most are not. Whether they are sentenced to the john school or offered it as a diversion option occurs at the discretion of judges.
In July, 2018, the Kansas Attorney General announced a new awareness campaign in Kansas is aimed at cutting the demand for prostitution as a way to fight human trafficking. The campaign involves state agencies and local advocacy groups teaming up to push the “Demand an End” initiative, which features education and announcements warning people that buyers of sex face charges. The campaign intends to promote a culture where buying sex is not acceptable. It is based on the assumption that the money from sex buyers fuels a marketplace that enables sex trafficking.
- Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office
- Kansas Attorney General’s Office
- Wyandotte District Attorney’s Office
- Web-Based Reverse Sting with Shaming:
- “Attorney General Steve Six Announces Pair of Electronic Solicitation Arrests, Renews Call for Backpage.com to Crack down on Advertising,” El Dorado Times, October 13 2010.
- “2 Men Charged in Sex Sting Connected to Adult Services Section of Backpage.com; KS AG Uses Case to Rehash Plea to Remove Section,” NBC/KSHB-TV 41, October 13 2010.
- “Sex Trafficking Ads Lead to Arrests, Ads Placed on Adult Services Classified Section of Backpage.com,” Leavenworth Times, October 14 2010.
- “Two Arrested in Connection with Website Ads,” Pittsburg Morning Sun, October 14 2010.
- Public Education:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Daughter Forced into Prostitution by Mother,” Nevada Daily Mail, August 27 1993.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “UG Says No to Adult Businesses,” Kansas City Kansan, November 21 2005.
- “Sex Trafficking Minors in Kansas to Be Treated as Victims, Not Criminals; Officers Train to Crack down on Sex Trafficking,” NBC/KSHB-TV 41, March 7 2014.
- “Study Exposes Economics of Sex Trafficking in Cities Like Kansas City,” NBC/KSHB-TV 41, March 12 2014.