Reporting Deputy: Sergeant Jamie Lewis
File # LA220980029
On Friday, April 8, 2022, at 10:30 AM, the La Quinta Special Enforcement Team with the assistance of the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (RCAHT) served a search warrant at the 79-000 block of Highway 111, in La Quinta regarding a sex trafficking investigation. The search warrant stemmed from a prior incident where a sex act was negotiated in exchange for money.
During the service of the search warrant, approximately $14,000 in US currency was located. Mei Ya Liu, 50-year-old resident of San Gabriel and Guowen Wu, 43-year-old resident of Alhambra, were arrested for solicitation of prostitution and maintaining a house for prostitution or lewdness. Liu and Wu were transported and booked into 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.
Report Human Trafficking activity or tips to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline at (888) 373-7888.
Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to call Deputy Maggie Lopez at the Thermal Sheriff’s Station by calling (760)863-8990, or Crime Stoppers at (760)341-STOP (7867).
For media inquiries regarding this incident please contact the Media Information Bureau.
|Mei Ya Liu
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