BOZEMAN – One man, out of seven arrested for soliciting sex for money, pleaded guilty to prostitution in court Friday morning. An anti-trafficking group at Montana State University says these arrests will help curb the industry of sex trafficking.
“Approaching the demand side of the equation is aimed at reducing the number of people who aim to buy sex,” said Emma Folkerts with HEART Initiative, an MSU group aimed at awareness and reduction of human trafficking.
She says the HEART Initiative is also involved with the Gallatin County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, citing three committees within the task force as prevention, protection, and prosecution.
Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin says the operation that led to the arrest of 7 men in Bozeman, took the collaboration of Bozeman Police Department, Homeland Security and 2 to 3 months of planning.
The men were arrested after responding to online prostitution ads and meeting up at a hotel for the sex.
“It’s something we didn’t use to have to worry about until internet, social media and now it’s happening,” said Sheriff Gootkin.
The HEART Initiative says their website contains information joining their efforts or finding out more about human trafficking.
Reporting by Mallory Peebles for MTN News