Yates County, NY

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Yates County has a population of approximately 25,000 residents, making it the third-least populous county in New York. It is located in upstate New York, in the Finger Lakes region, about 30 miles southeast of Rochester and 50 miles southwest of Syracuse. The county seat is the city of Penn Yan. Prostitution and sex trafficking, including cases of child sex trafficking, have been documented in the county and surrounding regions. Although we have no evidence of proactive reverse stings in the county, sex buyer arrests have occurred in the area.

In April 2023, the New York State Police announced that 18 people had been charged with sexually abusing a sex trafficked child in Yates County and the southern tier of New York state. Five of them had already pleaded guilty. The identities of all the sex buyers (as well as those facilitating the trafficking) were publicly disclosed. The months-long investigation found the child was abused over the course of seven years and in multiple locations. That investigation led to the indictment of 18 people after the Yates County District Attorney’s Office presented the case to a grand jury in March 2023. The charges filed include rape, sex trafficking, and predatory sexual assault against a child. The investigation began in October 2022 when one suspect from Dundee was accused of sexually abusing the child. The list of charges against the people accused of abusing the child included: Predatory Sexual Assault against a Child (A-II Felony), Predatory Sexual Assault (A-II Felony), Sex Trafficking of a Child (B Felony), Compelling Prostitution (B Felony), Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd Degree (D Felony), Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child (D Felony), Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance (C Felony), Aiding and Abetting Others in the Promotion of Sexual Acts, Tampering with Physical Evidence (E Felony), Rape 1st Degree (B Felony), Criminal Sexual Act 1st Degree (B Felony), Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Child (D Felony), Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance (C Felony), Rape in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Degrees (Felonies), and Criminal Sexual Act 3rd Degree (E Felony). State Police investigators worked with the Holly Hill Police Department of Florida, the Yates County District Attorney’s Office, the Yates County Department of Social Services, and the State Police Computer Crimes Unit. Authorities also worked to provide support services to the victim.

Key Partners

  • Yates County District Attorney’s Office
  • Yates County Department of Social Services
  • New York State Police (Computer Crimes Unit)
  • Holly Hill Police Department (Florida)

Key Sources

Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Local Ordinances:

State New York
Type County
Population 24613
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