Prostitution in Paducah: Is Activity on the Rise?
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - At least two prostitution stings in McCracken County have netted multiple arrests this year, and law officers say they're not surprised. That's because of one reason - the internet.
Many times, individuals believe they are using the internet to set up an appointment for sex with an underage teenager. That's what makes the sex trade a target for the McCracken County Sheriff's Department.
Detective Ryan Norman says prostitution activity has not drastically increased in Paducah. But the ease with which services can be obtained through popular websites makes monitoring such activity a priority.
"...Paducah is certainly not seeing near the problem that some cities are, but we're not immune to it either."
Also, Norman says many times it's "vulnerable" teenagers who prostitute themselves, while others are forced into it.
What qualifies a teen as 'vulnerable'?
Norman says a number of law enforcement publications describe a teen who may be homeless, or one that doesn't have a good home life. Also, some use the money they make to purchase drugs.
While not all prostitutes are drug users, and not all drug users visit prostitutes, Norman says there is often a connection.
"They can be drug into that world when they see the easy money, and then, a lot of times, drugs are introduced at that time. Or drugs have been introduced before and they want money to buy drugs they've already become addicted to."
No matter the reasons for involvement, the McCracken County Sheriff's Department has listed combatting the sex trade as a priority. As powerful as the internet can be, it may be that way for some time.