On November 16th, the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force (SDHTTF) received two leads for two separate juvenile victims who were being trafficked in San Diego County. The first lead was provided to County Probation by the 17-year-old victim’s mother and relayed to SDHTTF for follow-up. SDHTTF found evidence the juvenile was engaging in commercial sex acts in a hotel within San Diego County. SDHTTF located and rescued the juvenile. The juvenile was evaluated by Child Welfare Services (CWS) and provided human trafficking victim services.
The second lead originated from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC gathered intelligence from various online tools and believed a 14-year-old human trafficking victim was in San Diego County. SDHTTF found evidence the juvenile was engaging in commercial sex acts in a hotel within San Diego County. SDHTTF located and rescued the juvenile and a second adult victim. The juvenile victim was evaluated by Child Welfare Services (CWS) and taken into protective custody. The adult victim was provided human trafficking victim services.
Both investigations are ongoing. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department is a member of SDHTTF. We want to thank the Chula Vista Police Department for its assistance with this case which led to the quick rescue of the victims.
Remember, prostitution is not a victimless crime. Human trafficking involves the exploitation of someone for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act using fraud, force, or coercion. Sex traffickers are social media savvy. They lure victims promising gifts and glamorous jobs. It is a grooming process. Parents check regularly with your children about what they do online.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking call the confidential National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or text 233733. Visit https://humantraffickinghotline.org/ for more resources.