RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
Sheriff Chad Bianco
|Press Release:||Solicitation of Prostitution|
|Written Date:||August 14, 2020||Time:||1:00 PM|
|Incident Date:||August 13, 2020||Time:||11:00 AM to 11:00 PM|
|Incident Location:||Hotel, 3000 block of Hamner Ave, Norco|
|Reporting Officer:||Sergeant John Sawyer|
On Thursday, August 13, 2020, members of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT), in partnership with personnel from the Norco Sheriff’s Station, conducted a sex trafficking demand reduction operation in the City of Norco.
Law enforcement officers, operating in an undercover capacity, placed decoy advertisements on several popular classified advertisement websites commonly used for the solicitation of online prostitution. These same task force members then responded to prospective customers replying to these prostitution advertisements. After brokering an agreement for paid sex acts, these “Johns” were then arrested upon their arrival at an area hotel.
As a result of this enforcement effort, a total of 20 men were arrested on misdemeanor prostitution charges. All subjects arrested were booked and released from the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.
Prostitution is not a victimless crime. Ninety-five percent of sex trafficking victims are women or children. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that one in six 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 that solicit them for prostitution. The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force seeks to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking rings operating within Riverside County and will aggressively identify, pursue and apprehend those who seek to exploit those whom are most vulnerable. RCAHT will also proactively work to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.
The RCAHT Task Force extends its sincere appreciation to the Norco Sheriff’s Station for their support in conducting this joint operation. Anyone with questions about this operation can contact Sergeant John Sawyer of the RCAHT Task Force at (951) 955-1700.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2010 to address crimes involving the exploitation of victims via force, fraud, or coercion. These cases often involve the commercial sex trafficking of children, as well as incidents of forced labor, indentured servitude, debt bondage, or slavery. The RCAHT Task Force is a multidisciplinary task force which combines the investigative resources of both local and federal law enforcement. The RCAHT Task Force also provides victim services and education/outreach through partnerships with the non-profit groups Operation SafeHouse and Million Kids. The law enforcement component of RCAHT is currently composed of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, along with part-time participation of the Hemet Police Department, Riverside Police Department, and Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.
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