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Special Investigations Bureau

Posted on: April 28, 2021

Solicitation of Prostitution Arrest

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RIVERSIDE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT

Sheriff Chad Bianco

Press Release:Solicitation of Prostitution Arrest
Station Area:La Quinta
Written Date:April 28, 2021Time:8:30 PM
Incident Date:April 28, 2021Time:6:00 PM
Incident Location:50-600 block of Santa Rosa Plaza, La Quinta
Reporting Officer:Sergeant Jose Tijerina
File Number(s):R211180002


Marino-Lopez
Li-Mei Chen

Details:

On Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 6:00 PM, the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) with the assistance of the La Quinta Special Enforcement Team served a search warrant at the 50-600 block of Santa Rosa Plaza, La Quinta regarding a sex trafficking investigation.

During the service of the search warrant, Li-Mei Chen, 60 of San Gabriel, was arrested for solicitation of prostitution.  Chen was transported to the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio. During this investigation, no victims of sex trafficking were identified.

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 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 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 who are most vulnerable. Through proactive enforcement operations, RCAHT works to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.

Report Human Trafficking activity or tips to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888

The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force is asking anyone with additional information to contact RCAHT Task Force Deputy Tina Contreras at (760) 836-1600 or call anonymously at (760) 341-STOP (7867) and reference incident # R21 118 0002.

The eastern Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in March 2020 to address crimes involving the exploitation of victims via force, fraud, or coercion in the eastern half of the Coachella Valley. 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 that 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 Safe House, Rebirth Homes, and Million Kids.  The law enforcement component of RCAHT is currently composed of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Riverside County Probation Department, 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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