The Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit will attack the problem of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation head-on by prosecuting the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law, including obtaining the enhanced prison sentences provided for in Proposition 35, the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act.” The motive for this crime is financial profit, therefore effective punishment and deterrence requires that the perpetrators be deprived of their ill-gotten financial gains. The H.T. Unit will seek to civilly forfeit all the money obtained by the perpetrators as a result of their crime.
Successful prosecution of the traffickers requires the testimony and cooperation of the victims of this crime, who themselves are frequently arrested for misdemeanor prostitution. To maximize the opportunity to identify, investigate, and successfully prosecute their traffickers, the H.T. Unit will oversee and coordinate these misdemeanor prostitution cases. It is also critical to view and treat the victims of human trafficking as victims, not as criminals. Coordination of these cases with the H.T. Unit will improve our ability to identify and provide services to the victims of human trafficking.
Human trafficking cannot exist without customers. The H.T. Unit will generally oversee and coordinate the prosecution of “johns” and others who provide the commercial market for this exploitation. The H.T. Unit will develop new and effective ways to sentence “johns,” to deter them and others from becoming customers of commercial sexual exploitation.
The crimes of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation remain hidden in our community and are significantly under-reported to law enforcement. The H.T. Unit will work closely with C.A.S.E., local law enforcement, school districts, and non-governmental victim-support agencies to ensure that no case of human trafficking or sexual exploitation goes unreported to law enforcement.
Special expertise is needed to investigate and prosecute these crimes. The H.T. Unit will take advantage of specialized training opportunities, and will provide and attend joint training with local law enforcement. The H.T. Unit will assist in the formation of an Inland Empire Human Trafficking Investigative Task Force.
This comprehensive approach to criminal prosecution will ensure that the H.T. Unit can achieve their primary goal of successfully prosecuting human traffickers and commercial sexual exploiters to the fullest extent of the law, while at the same time providing a “victim-centered” approach to this problem.