A 6 day effort by law enforcement agencies across California has led to the arrest of 101 people in Riverside County on human trafficking charges.
Six of the suspects are from Hemet, four from Coachella, three from Indio, three from Palm Desert, two from Cathedral City, two from San Jacinto, two from Beaumont, and one each from Desert Hot Springs, Bermuda Dunes and Banning.
They are jailed around the County.
Four juveniles were also detained for solicitation of prostitution, and released to their parents.
Eight victims were rescued and given immediate help.
The total number of arrests in California during this Operation Reclaim & Rebuild, was 539.
Sixty-five victims were rescued.
The operation targeted online prostitution, the people behind the scenes, and the customers.
Prostitution and human trafficking are unlawful activities which fuel an illicit underground economy, locally and across the State of California. Often, individuals engaging in acts of prostitution are being forced to commit sexual acts against their will. Victims are often forced or coerced into prostitution at a young age, with many victims admitting to first being victimized when they were about 14 years old and some younger. The goal of RCAHT is to not only arrest suspects, but to identify as many victims as possible, and provide those victims with resources to escape and heal.
Prostitution is not a “victimless” crime. Those victimized by commercial sexual exploitation frequently have long histories of emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse or trauma in their backgrounds. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported are likely victims of sex trafficking. Sex trafficking victims are often subjected not only to severe forms of emotional, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of their trafficker but are also frequently physically and sexually assaulted by those who solicit them for prostitution.
Pair of steel handcuffs.
Photo from Alpha Media Portland OR