Law enforcement see human trafficking in Casper area prostitution cases



CASPER, Wyo. — Casper City Attorney John Henley says in a memo to the city council that both the Casper Police Department and the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office have “seen several cases of prostitution which involve human trafficking” in the area.

Henley said that such cases tend to involve two types of victims. He said that some cases involve individuals who have come to the United States from other countries, having been promised employment and a path to citizenship.

In such cases, the victims are “frequently vulnerable females” who find themselves trapped in situations where they are “used as a commodity in the sex trade.”

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Henley said the other common victim of human trafficking are younger people “who have run away and are living under desperate conditions on the street.”

Youth may then be “‘recruited’ with the promise [of] safety and employment,” Henley said.

However, as in the case of individuals who are trafficked who came to the U.S. from other countries, such victims also find themselves trapped in situations where they are used as commodities in the sex trade.

County 17 has taken a look at the way human trafficking tends to operate in Wyoming in a series of articles by  Jennifer Kocher. Kocher looks at both the system in which human trafficking can operate in the state as well as the process by which victims are psychologically manipulated in the following articles:

Henley’s memo explains some proposed amendments to Casper’s Municipal Code aimed at giving law enforcement greater ability to investigate prostitution cases which may involve human trafficking.

He cautions that the ordinance changes wouldn’t stop human trafficking, but would provide law enforcement “an opportunity to investigate and prosecute prostitution, both against business owners involved in human trafficking and against individuals who solicit prostitution.”

The city council are set to discuss the proposed ordinance during their Tuesday work session, which begins at 4:30 pm.

Further details are available in the council’s work packet.

If you would like to contact members of the Casper City Council regarding this or any other issue, here is their contact information:

Mayor Steve Freel (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Vice Mayor Khrystyn Lutz (Ward I, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Charlie Powell (Ward II, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Shawn Johnson (Ward II, Term expires 1/3/23):

Councilman Ken Bates (Ward II, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Steve Cathey (Ward III, Term Expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Bob Hopkins (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Mike Huber (Ward I, Term expires 1/5/21):

Councilman Ray Pacheco (Ward III, Term expires 1/3/23):

Council members can also be reached by mail at: 200 N. David Street, 82601

If you would like to contact members in your specific ward, but don’t know which ward you are in, a map is available at the City of Casper’s website.


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