Trick Roll Study: Forced Criminality in Sex Trafficking Situations

Criminal records of sex traffcking victims are known barriers to exiting sex traffcking situations. The link between committing crime while being a victim of sex traffcking, forced criminality, has received little research attention. One aspect of forced criminality in sex traffcking situations includes ‘trick rolls’ which are the robberies of sex buyers. With the purpose of exploring forced criminality, this study examined 467 trick roll cases which are robberies conducted in a prostitution situation perpetrated by the sex seller, during one year in Las Vegas, Nevada. Using crime databases and working knowledge of the LVMPD Vice and Sex Traffcking Investigations Unit, 36 percent of the identifed suspects in the trick roll cases were found to be known victims of sex traffcking.

Trick roll cases involving sex traffcking victims were found to be more likely to involve multiple suspects (including their sex traffcker), begin at a bar/club or casino foor, involve the theft of more valuable items, more likely involve a weapon, and more likely to involve the injury of the sex buyer. A total of $4.4 million worth of money and goods were stolen in the 467 trick rolls. An average of $9,497 per trick roll was stolen. Implications for criminal record expungement or limited liability as well as law enforcement initiating a victim-centered focus for property crimes are discussed.

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