News Flash

MCAO Latest News

Posted on: August 27, 2014

Shared Hope Report Reaches Flawed Conclusions on Sex Trafficking in Arizona

PHOENIX – A report released by Shared Hope International in collaboration with Arizona State University College of Public Programs presents an inaccurate picture of how child prostitution and sex trafficking crimes are prosecuted in Maricopa County. The study, titled “Demanding Justice,” relies on just 24 criminal cases to incorrectly conclude that buyers of child sex are not effectively being held accountable. In a press release accompanying the release of the study, Shared Hope faults prosecutors for charging buyers of child sex with child prostitution rather than sex trafficking, confusing the intent and application of laws targeting these specific offenses.

“Child prostitution and sex trafficking are serious crimes that deserve an informed discussion in order to craft successful public policy solutions, as the recent Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking illustrated,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “Unfortunately, this report missed a prime opportunity to provide members of the community with accurate and actionable information to facilitate this discussion,” he added.

Montgomery pointed out the report’s conclusions are based on just 24 cases in Arizona, 17 of which involved undercover sting operations without an actual victim. A link on Shared Hope’s “Demanding Justice” website labeled “The Stats” highlights only four cases in Arizona, one which did not involve a buyer of child sex, and three in which the minor was either 16 or 17 years old or an undercover officer posing as a 17-year-old.

“Arizona’s sex crime statutes, including recent changes to address Human Trafficking that were signed into law earlier this year, are designed to incarcerate dangerous and repeat offenders, especially child predators,” Montgomery noted. “While the deterrent effect of sting operations utilizing undercover officers posing as 17- or 16-year-old minors cannot be overstated, punishments for first-time offenders caught in stings where they cannot actually have sex with a minor must be distinguished from offenders who can and/or do pay for sex with minors,” he added.

The “Demanding Justice” report relies on media accounts and internet stories about the 24 Arizona cases it reviewed instead of using publicly available court documents or contacting the actual agencies involved for a complete record. Furthermore, the report does not specifically identify these cases, precluding an independent analysis of the findings and conclusions.

Montgomery also disputed a quote attributed to one of the report’s authors stating “there are only two county attorneys prosecuting cases” and that police are “overwhelming” prosecutors with cases. “In fact, with more than twenty prosecutors assigned to handle sex crimes in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, we have adequate resources to handle the volume of cases submitted for charging review and subsequent prosecution,” Montgomery said.

The same author goes on to state that “[i]t’s almost impossible to have enough manpower to then get the cases through to victim restitution.” This statement is grossly inaccurate, as there are no pending restitution hearings in sex trafficking cases involving buyers of minor victims in Phoenix. Also, restitution is not available in cases involving undercover sting operations, which account for the majority of the cases referenced in the study.

Despite its claim that defendants are not being sentenced to the fullest extent of the law, the report states that Phoenix had the longest average sentence actually served by buyers of sex with children (4.7 years), yet a median actual time to be served of 90 days. The study provides no case citations or supporting data that could be used to determine how these figures were calculated in order to verify their accuracy. Since Arizona is a Truth-in-Sentencing state requiring offenders to serve 85% of a prison sentence, the data makes no sense.

“One statement in the report we can heartily agree with is ‘without good measures, solutions are elusive,’” Montgomery said. “This report provides neither.”


Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in MCAO Latest News

Man Accused of Mistreatment of Puppy Arrested

Posted on: February 21, 2024 | Last Modified on: January 29, 2021

Gilbert Aggravated Assault Defendants Indicted

Posted on: February 1, 2024 | Last Modified on: January 29, 2021

West Valley Mall Shooter Sentenced

Posted on: January 19, 2024

Defendant Indicted for Sexual Assault

Posted on: October 30, 2023

Vehicular Heatstroke is Animal Abuse

Posted on: July 10, 2023
Photo of the logo for World Elder Abuse Day

Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Posted on: June 15, 2023
Photo of a baby tiger.

Defendant Selling Wild Tiger Cub Indicted

Posted on: February 28, 2023

Thank You for Your Service

Posted on: February 1, 2023

No Charges for Officer Conduct

Posted on: January 30, 2023
Photos of MCAO employees

A Year in Review

Posted on: December 20, 2022

MCAO Wins Big at the 2022 APAAC Awards

Posted on: August 29, 2022
Website Graphics (1)

Help Deter Catalytic Converter Thefts

Posted on: August 22, 2022
A person reaching for a pair of car keys after they've been drinking.

Celebrate Safely this Fourth of July

Posted on: June 28, 2022
Someone offering support to an older adult

June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Posted on: June 15, 2022
Tori posing in front of a background and flags

K-9 Victim Advocate Tori is Retiring!

Posted on: April 26, 2022

MCAO’s Citizens Academy Is Back!

Posted on: March 28, 2022

Meet our New Community Affairs Coordinator

Posted on: February 21, 2022

Stay Aware of Teen Dating Violence

Posted on: February 14, 2022
New employee meeting other employees at new job

Start the Year with a New Career

Posted on: January 19, 2022

MCAO Year in Review

Posted on: December 21, 2021
An image of caution tape and police sirens

Year in Review: 2021 Crime Trends

Posted on: December 14, 2021
A family gathering around their holiday decorations

Holiday Home and Travel Safety

Posted on: December 6, 2021
Woman shopping online for holiday gifts

Get Gifts, Not Scams this Holiday Season

Posted on: November 22, 2021
Phone Scams

How to Avoid Scams Calls

Posted on: November 15, 2021
Photo of soldier holding an American flag

Honoring All Who Serve on Veterans Day

Posted on: November 10, 2021
Photo of the twin towers

20th Anniversary of September 11th

Posted on: September 10, 2021
Image of girl with the text

Talk to Teens About Substance Abuse

Posted on: August 23, 2021
A man stealing a wallet out of someone's backpack

Practice Personal Safety in Layers

Posted on: August 16, 2021
Two students reading over documents

Internship Opportunities at MCAO

Posted on: July 29, 2021
Someone looking into a parked vehicle

Keep Your Vehicle Safe this Summer

Posted on: July 5, 2021
Utility Scams

Summer Safety Series: Utility Scams

Posted on: June 21, 2021
Three Children Holding Hands

National Missing Children's Day

Posted on: May 24, 2021
Student wearing graduation cap and gown

A Career in Public Service

Posted on: May 4, 2021

Employee Spotlight: Aisha Robertson

Posted on: April 26, 2021
Victim Advocates

The Importance of Victims’ Rights

Posted on: April 22, 2021
Lady Justice

Understanding Victims’ Rights

Posted on: April 19, 2021
Protect Your Vehicle From Theft

Spring Break Tips: Prevent Car Theft

Posted on: March 15, 2021
Report Graffiti

Report Graffiti in Your Community

Posted on: February 22, 2021
Protect Your Identity

Have You Checked Your Credit Report?

Posted on: March 29, 2021
Online Dating

Swipe Safe with These Online Dating Tips

Posted on: February 8, 2021
Woman Cleaning Counter

Labor Trafficking amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted on: January 25, 2021
MCAO Building

A Year in Review at MCAO

Posted on: December 23, 2020
Crime Scene Tape

2020 Snapshot: Crime Across the Valley

Posted on: December 7, 2020
Man placing Credit Card info into Laptop

Shop Safely Online this Holiday Season

Posted on: November 30, 2020
Female domestic violence victim packing suitcase with clothing

Make a Safety Plan to Get Out

Posted on: October 19, 2020
Teen Girl Texting

Remind Teens to Think Before They Send

Posted on: September 28, 2020
County Attorney Allister Adel

Body-Worn Camera Request

Posted on: September 23, 2020
Online Bully

Online Bullying During COVID

Posted on: September 21, 2020
Animal Cruelty

Report Animal Abuse to Law Enforcement

Posted on: September 14, 2020
Labor Day DUI Reminder

Celebrate Labor Day Weekend Safely

Posted on: September 3, 2020
Pills on table

International Overdose Awareness Day

Posted on: August 31, 2020

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Scams

Posted on: July 23, 2020
Two Girls on Laptops

What are the risks of livestreaming?

Posted on: July 13, 2020

What is a Prosecutor?

Posted on: June 25, 2020
Man Vaping

Vaping Warning Signs for Parents

Posted on: June 18, 2020

Help Prevent Opioid Abuse at Home

Posted on: June 16, 2020
Sunset Over Canal and Homes

Keep Your Home Safe this Summer

Posted on: June 4, 2020
Looking through a car windshield at night. The lights are blurred.

Don’t Graduate into a DUI

Posted on: May 19, 2020
Happy Mothers Day

Honoring MCAO Moms

Posted on: May 8, 2020
COVID-19 Stimulus Check Scams

Stimulus Check Scams

Posted on: May 7, 2020
National Law Day 2020

It’s National Law Day

Posted on: May 1, 2020
Angela Andrews

Collaboration is Key

Posted on: April 30, 2020
Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Inspiration in the Face of Adversity

Posted on: April 24, 2020
Heather Kirka

Charging Ahead and Working Together

Posted on: April 23, 2020
Census form on flag

We All Benefit When We Respond

Posted on: April 16, 2020
Brittany Hogard

Keeping the Wheels of Justice Rolling

Posted on: April 15, 2020
Person typing on computer keyboard

Be a Smart Online User

Posted on: April 13, 2020
Avoid Coronavirus Scams

COVID-19 Scam Awareness

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Community Outreach Highlights

Posted on: March 1, 2020
Allister with Female Staff

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Posted on: March 1, 2020
2020 Census Advertisement - Shape your Future, Start Here

YOU Count: Fill Out the Census Today

Posted on: March 1, 2020

Update On Petersen Investigation

Posted on: December 11, 2019

MCAO Honors Our Veterans

Posted on: November 8, 2019

Dion Earl Found Guilty on All Charges

Posted on: August 22, 2019

MCAO Launches Community Grants Webpage

Posted on: August 12, 2016

Update on Green Acre Dog Boarding Deaths

Posted on: September 22, 2014

National Geographic - Taboo

Posted on: August 31, 2012