Tag Archives: prostitution

TCDA involved in six sex trafficking cases in 2016

The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office has been actively investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking.

At the Tulare County Human Trafficking Taskforce meeting on June 22, the District Attorneys office shared that they have filed five cases against seven defendants in 2016. Additionally, one case filed in 2015 is in sentencing. The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office is also currently investigating two other sex trafficking cases involving minors.

On June 3, a Tulare man plead guilty to charges involving child sex trafficking. The TCDA’s Office sent out this release:

Today in Department 4 of the Tulare County Superior Court, Visalia Division, Judge Brett Aldredge presiding, Anthony Lott, age 24, of Tulare, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of human trafficking of minors for a sex act, two felony counts of pandering by procuring a minor over the age of 16, one felony count of pimping, one felony count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, and a misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle in a city limit.

On October 6, 2015 the Tulare Police Department was conducting a human trafficking operation at a local hotel. Officers observed a vehicle enter the parking lot of the hotel and saw a female exit the car while the male driver, Lott, remained in the car. The female offered an undercover officer sex in exchange for money. While Lott remained in the car, he was contacted by law enforcement and was found to be in possession of a loaded firearm.

Lott was arrested for pimping and having possession of a loaded firearm. After further investigation which was conducted by the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, Investigator Martha Rodriguez was able to make connections that Lott had trafficked two minors from the Tulare area between the dates of November 1, 2013 and November 1, 2014. With additional investigation by the Office of the District Attorney, on February 22, 2016, Lott was charged with two counts of human trafficking of a minor for a sex act and two counts of pandering by procuring a minor over the age of 16.

On June 29, 2016, Lott will be sentenced to 7 years 4 months state prison and will be ordered to register for life as a sex offender.

“I commend law enforcement for being diligent in this case and bringing justice to the victims,” said District Attorney Tim Ward. “Human trafficking is real, and it can happen in any community. If you suspect a person is being exploited for sex or labor, contact law enforcement immediately.”

The case was prosecuted by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Cindy Underwood of the Special Crimes Division. It was investigated by Officer Rosemarie Pacheco and Detective Vince Medina of the Tulare Police Department, as well as Investigator Martha Rodriguez of the Office of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.

 

Many events coming up!

The next three months, the Central Valley will have many opportunities for training, education, and involvement! We post and update these events on our calendar. Check out what’s coming up!

Caged No More Screening
Fri., Jan 22, 7pm
Regal Manchester Theater, 2055 Shields Ave., Fresno

Fresno aftercare and outreach group Breaking the Chains has invited our community to the  VIP screening of this faith-based film on human trafficking. Supports Central Valley human trafficking ministries.

cropped-cvjc-banner1

Tuesday, Jan. 26th 7 – 9pm – Human Trafficking 101 Class  
Fresno First Baptist Church, 1400 E. Saginaw Way, Fresno CA 93704 
Get educated with an introductory course on modern day slavery. Cost $20 pre-registered by 1-25-16. $25 on 1-26-15.
RSVP to 227-8001 or info@cvjusticecoalition.com 

logo

Freedom Sunday in the Central Valley
Feb. 7/ March 9, various locations
Join with other churches in focusing on prayer, education, and action to end human trafficking locally. (Feb. 7 is the local date set by the Central Valley Justice Coalition, March 9 is the global date set by Not For Sale)Observe at your own services or meeting.  JARON Ministries with CAPC is helping organize local resources and efforts for churches and any other groups to help Family Services, Tulare County DAs Office, and other local organizations in their efforts to address human trafficking. Resources and info on training meetings on our Freedom Sunday page.

Register as a participating church/group here.

7th-be-free-web
“Be Free,” 7th Annual Regional Human Trafficking Conference
Wed.,Feb. 24,  1-5pm. Pre-conference workshops 10am-12pm. Reception from 5-7pm
Radisson Hotel Fresno Conference Center, 1055 Van Ness Ave.
Keynote speaker is Kay Buck, Chief Executive Officer of Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST). Schedule also includes a survivors panel, plus information local youth activism,  regional trends in identification and investigation, and multi-disciplinary partnerships. Workshops includes human trafficking 101, cultural perspective on labor exploitation and trafficking, and sex trafficking prevention. Register and get more information here.

HT_training

Human Trafficking 101
Mon., March 14, 6:00-9:00 p.m., 3110 West Nielson, Fresno

An introductory class of general knowledge about human trafficking, including tactics of traffickers, signs of trafficking, the clinical dynamics of involvement,potential paths for leaving, etc. Cost: $50. Contact Charlene Glass at 237-4741. Register and get more information here

mlmc-logo-RGB_(1)

My Life, My Choice Training
Tues., March 15, 9:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., 3110 Nielson, Fresno

Be trained to lead the My Life, My Choice curriculum which provides a concrete, well researched method for preventing exploitation among vulnerable adolescent girls. $150, includes lunch. Space is limited. contact Charlene Glass at 237-4741. Register and get more information here.

TCo DA

Tulare County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force Meeting
March 15, 1:30-3:00 p.m.,
Workforce Investment Board office, 4031 Noble, Visalia

College_of_the_Sequoias_726479_i0

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Workshop
Fri. April 22- Sat. April 23, COS, Visalia

Learn how to identify signs of a potential victim of CSEC. Runs Friday evening and Saturday morning. More details to come.

Spot Trafficking While Travelling

We are coming upon a season when many of us will be on the road travelling. While at rest stops and airports, you may come upon a potential trafficking situation.

In a story in IJReview,  A  trucker shared how he faced such a situation this year and became a lifeline to someone trapped in sex trafficking. He happened to see the face of a distraught girl in a windoof an RV and activity that tipped him off to what was happening. He called authorities who arrested two traffickers and rescued a 20-year old female. See the article and video here.

Shared Hope Int’l provides a fact sheet on signs of trafficking while travelling. This includes terms pertaining to sex trafficking one might overhear and signs one may observe about the potential victim, the environment, and circumstances. Download and print to review and have handy when you are travelling.

If you see a potential trafficking situation, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline,  888-373-7888, wherever you are at for assistance. They can contact the appropriate local responders and provide guidance to callers.

Are you a trucker or travel frequently? You can be an important aid by being a lookout for potential trafficking. Get resources and assistance from Truckers Against Human Trafficking.

Even if you aren’t a trucker, the Truckers Against Trafficking phone app provides signs of trafficking and numbers to call and is a great resource for anyone.

If you are planning on flying, CNN Freedom Project provide a list of signs, compiled from human trafficking response organizations, to look for in an educational article this summer (visit article for details). These might not mean someone is being trafficked, but could be an indicator. If you suspect a trafficking situation, contact airport authorities, police, or the National Human Trafficking Hotline:

1. A traveler is not dressed appropriately for their route of travel.

2. They have a tattoo with a bar code, the word “Daddy.”

3.  They can’t provide details of their departure location, destination, or flight information.

4.  Their communication seems scripted, or there are inconsistencies with their story

5. They can’t move freely in an airport or on a plane, or they are being controlled, closely watched or followed.

6 .  They are afraid to discuss themselves around others, deferring any attempts at conversation to someone who appears to be controlling them.

7. Child trafficking: A child being trafficked for sexual exploitation may be dressed in a sexualized manner, or seem to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A child may appear to be malnourished and/or shows signs of physical or sexual abuse, such as bruises, scars, or cigarette burns.

Main tip: If anything seems “off,” contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Operators are trained to help you.

Click on the image to go to the Truckers Against Trafficking website.
Click on the image to go to the Truckers Against Trafficking website.

“The Trafficked Life” Screening and Panel in Visalia

The Trafficked Life

TCCAPC is excited to be partnering with the St. John and St. Paul’s Epicopal churches, the San Joaquin Diocese, Family Services of Tulare County, and Magdalene Hope in Bakersfield to present

Human Trafficking Forum
Featuring the Documentary Screening: The Trafficked Life
Monday, August 17, 6:30 p.m.
At Cafe 210, 210 W Center Ave, Visalia

The Trafficked Life is a documentary filmed in Bakersfield about the realities of sex and labor trafficking in the Valley, with stories and commentary by local survivors, law enforcement, and those from Magdalene Hope, an outreach and aftercare organization dedicated to reaching those in trafficking. The film is informative, vulnerable (The director of Magdalene Hope shares his story, which includes being a former buyer), yet sensitive. The film sheds light more comprehensively on local realities with a focus on the major voice being from those who have gone through it. It is also well produced. See the trailer here.

The Trafficked Life is useful for anyone wanting to better understand human trafficking, especially sex trafficking, in the Central Valley. Though not graphic, Magdalene Hope will have staff available to counsel those who may be strongly affected by the film.

The forum will include a panel discussion/ question and answer segment with filmmaker Michael Fagan, Magdalene Hope Director Doug Bennett, Magdalene Hope aftercare worker and survivor Angelica Lostanaua, and human trafficking experts from Family Services of Tulare County, Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, and Tulare County Child Abuse Prevention Council.

 Bishop David Rice will also be sharing about an exciting upcoming event in Visalia, Tulare, and other cities in the San Joaquin Valley: The Tour Against Trafficking.
Bishop Rice will be cycling from Bakersfield to Stockton to raise awareness of human trafficking and money for local efforts. He will be stopping at numerous cities in the San Joaquin Valley for awareness events.  (See the Tour Against Trafficking website for more information and to get involved!)

11392925_778782582241418_1986148821819009673_n

TCCAPC will have a resource packet available at the Human Trafficking Forum with free materials and information to take action to address human trafficking.

Please share this event with others! Share this page, use our Facebook event page, and/or download and share Rev. Ward’s invitation letter.

For more information, contact information Rev. Ward at sward1978@sbcglobal.net or 559-627-8265.

Opportunity To Support Bill To Fine Sex Buyers/ Support Survivors

Authors of a state senate bill, currently in the state legislature, seeks to create a minimum fine for sex buyers and provide funds for  services to survivors.

Senate Bill 776, created by Senator Marty Block, San Diego, would create an amendment to the Section 647 of the Penal Code and include:

– Mandatory fine of $700-$2,000 (in addition to other penalties) to sex buyers
– Allocate portion of fees to fund shelter, counseling, and other direct services and exit programs for victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sexual abuse

Currrently, the bill has been set for hearing May 12.

View proposed Senate Bill 776 here

California Against Slavery (the organization behind Prop 37 that created the 2012 human trafficking law) is inviting supporters to get involved in their “Lobby  Day 2015” to support the bill.

Lobby Day takes place at the California State Capitol in Sacramento on Wed., June 17, 2015 from 9:30am to 4:00pm. Participants can speak to their  representative’s office and are encouraged to personally voice support for SB 776 and anti-trafficking efforts. Cost is $10 for lunch and materials. Sign up here

“Lobby Day is an empowering event where you can speak to your legislators’ offices and personally voice your support for anti-trafficking efforts. Groups and families welcomed!” states CAS in their latest campaign. “Training is provided and no experience necessary, we need volunteer advocates from all across California!”

For those who can’t make Lobby Day, they have several ways to get involved:

  • “Lobby from Home” June 1st to June 12th CAS will mail supporters a packet of postcards  to sign and mail in. CAS asks that participants share with friends and family who can mail in the cards themselves. Email requests with your name, mailing address, and number of postcards needed to info@californiaagainstslavery.org
  • “Sponsor an Advocate” Help sponsor survivor advocates to Lobby Day. Each contribution will help to cover travel costs. Make a donation here, and add a note: “sponsorship.

lobbyday