How it Started?
San Bernardino County’s fight against Human Trafficking began in early 2009, after District Attorney Mike Ramos answered a local news reporter’s plea to help young victims of child exploitation.
“He said he had heard enough of my harping for a leader to come forward in the campaign against child sexual abuse, so he decided to be that leader,” said San Bernardino County Sun staff writer Wesley G. Hughes.
In Feb. 2009, DA Ramos sent the following email to Hughes:
“… Wes, Thank you for keeping this issue on the front burner. We have been fighting this issue for months and you have noted my lawyers take this very serious. I had a meeting with all my staff involved including my Chief Deputies Friday and we are meeting with the Board Chairman today. I am going to use all my DA's resources to get all county government agencies involved.”
The following month, the first public meeting of the Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation (CASE) took place and the county has been going strong ever since, tackling this problem at every level.
The San Bernardino County Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation (C.A.S.E.) is a partnership of public and private entities who have joined together to develop resources in the county to educate, prevent, intervene and treat victims of sexual exploitation. The CASE goal is to coordinate services tailored to the characteristics and circumstances of these children, train law enforcement on investigation and detection, educate the public and create awareness to protect children from abuse and exploitation.