Stephen Wilson, 34, from Bayonne, New Jersey, was arrested on February 26, 2021 for conspiracy to commit human trafficking, attempted aggravated sexual assault, and endangering the welfare of a child. Wilson was under investigation by the New Jersey State Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice. He will be lodged at the Atlantic County Jail pending a detention hearing.
Wilson allegedly agreed to meet adults in an Atlantic City parking area who offered him access to two female children, ages 8 and 10, for $200. Wilson is reported to have met the adults through an incest chat group, where he agreed to bring condoms if he intended to engage in sexual intercourse with the children. Wilson was allegedly found in possession of over $500 and condoms at the time of his arrest. According to his LinkedIn profile, Wilson had been employed by the Jersey City Police Department since 2009.
The CSE Institute applauds the New Jersey State Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice for taking the steps to commercial sexual exploitation by targeting those who fuel the demand for sex, including sex traffickers and buyers. Without the demand driven by sex buyers, there would be no market for victims to be sexually exploited.
The CSE Institute advocates for the Equality Model, which consists of four key elements: (1) decriminalization of the prostituted person, (2) criminalization of sex buyers and facilitators with a commitment to treating buying sex as a serious crime, (3) a public education campaign about the inherent harms of prostitution, and (4) funded, robust, holistic exit services for victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The Equality Model directly targets the demand for buying sex by criminalizing sex buyers and traffickers, while decriminalizing the people who are being bought and sold for commercial sex. The decriminalization of prostituted persons recognizes those who are bought and sold for sex are exploited, not perpetrators of a crime. The CSE Institute is encouraged by the New Jersey State Police, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, and the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice for implementing the second element of the Equality Model. The CSE Institute will provide updates on Wilson’s case when they become available.