News Release | Monroe County Office of the District Attorney

Online prostitution sting seeks to educate sex buyers

July 21, 2017

On July 21, 2017, Detectives from the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney conducted a web based undercover prostitution sting and invited local press outlets.

The goal of the operation was to interrupt the buying of sex online. Detectives posted two fictitious advertisements on the website backpage.com. The ads were linked to two undercover cell phones which were answered by police officers.

Once a male called in to arrange for a date he spoke with a female detective posing as a prostitute. The female detective discussed pricing, sex acts and locations where the encounter was to occur. Simultaneously, other detectives were searching social media and using other methods to identify the caller. The female undercover handed the phone over to a male, who identified himself as a Detective with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.

The male detective explained to the sex buyer that what they were doing is essentially feeding into the current issue of human trafficking. The detective explained that if the gentleman had indeed showed up for the date, he would have been arrested and subsequently his name and photo would have been published in the news paper and he would be facing criminal charges.

Assisting in the operation was Kim Checkeye, the executive director of Truth for Women, a nonprofit organization that specializes in assisting women who have been sexually exploited.

The following media outlets were present at the web based sting:

  • WNEP TV
  • BRC TV13
  • WFMZ
  • WBRE
  • Fox 56 News
  • Pocono Record
  • Express Times/Lehigh Valley Live
  • Morning Call

More than fifty men responded to each ad during the course of the operation.

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