Police: ‘Every 16-Year-Old Girl in Fresno’ Has Been Targeted By Sex Trade Recruiters

Police: ‘Every 16-Year-Old Girl in Fresno’ Has Been Targeted By Sex Trade Recruiters

Of the ridiculous laws California has passed to cripple public safety, few are more deplorable than SB 1322. Championed by Democrats as a way to protect child victims of sex trafficking, the bill instead did the complete opposite.

SB 1322 was signed into law in September of 2016. The measure rendered the crimes of solicitation and loitering with intent to commit prostitution misdemeanors inapplicable to children younger than 18. The bill also allowed law enforcement to take sexually exploited children into temporary custody, but only if leaving them unattended would pose an immediate threat to their health or safety (which is often difficult to determine thanks to so-called 'Romeo' trafficking methods).

In other words, SB 1322 created an incentive for sex traffickers to exploit more children, since they could no longer be stopped. Less time in jail means more time "working," and therefore more money.

In Fresno, police are struggling with a dark new reality, one in which every 15-year-old girl has been targeted by human traffickers.

From the Fresno Bee:

It was about 2 p.m. on a Tuesday when the 15-year-old girl left her central Fresno hotel room. She climbed into a car driven by a stranger, who would take her to another stranger with whom she had agreed to have sex for money.

If it had been a few minutes later, the girl could have easily blended in with children walking home from school. She was not dressed provocatively; she wore a red Fresno State sweatshirt and jeans. She was not wearing excessive makeup. She carried a backpack.

Who knows how many times she had followed this pattern – strange men and strange cars. Online advertisements showed her in various states of undress.

That’s how the vice unit of the Fresno Police Department found her. Today, these strangers were both undercover officers. Tonight, she will be safe.

“She said she hasn’t eaten in five days,” Sgt. Curt Chastain said. “No real family – an unreported runaway. She’s in the sex trade to survive.”

“She wants help,” he continued. “She wants to be in school, but mom won’t sign her up.”

One of Chastain’s undercover detectives confirmed this is not a rare occurrence.

“I’ve had (sex trafficking) victims from every high school in Fresno County – and most junior high schools,” the detective said. The Fresno Bee is not identifying him due to the sensitivity of his work. These traffickers, he added, use a variety of tactics to lure children and young women into “the life.”

This is the result of Democratic policy -- not a reduction in prostitution, but instead more cases of human trafficking than any other state in the nation. California's public safety structure has been crippled.

Stay alert. Stay alive.

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