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Supervisors Draw Attention to Human Trafficking in San Mateo County

The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting five people in connection with two separate human trafficking operations discovered in the county last year.

By Bay City News: 

Law enforcement officials gathered this week to spread the word that human trafficking is a big problem in the Bay Area— even in San Mateo County.

 "Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery," county Supervisor Adrienne Tissier said at a news conference Tuesday in Millbrae to announce the launch of a countywide poster campaign designed to inform the public about the crime and to provide a lifeline to victims.

 Human trafficking victims are generally forced to engage in commercial sex but may also be forced into domestic servitude, farm work, factory work or other types of slavery, Tissier said.

 The FBI recently designated the Bay Area as a hub for human trafficking, county officials said.

 San Mateo County is the latest Bay Area county to comply with state Senate Bill 1193, which mandates that posters educating the public about human trafficking and providing resources to report the crime be displayed prominently in certain types of businesses such as bars, airports, emergency rooms, massage parlors and adult-oriented establishments.

 The sheriff's office will periodically check on businesses affected by the law to ensure the posters are up, county Sheriff Greg Munks said. Penalties for failing to display the poster start at $500.

 District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said his office is prosecuting five people in connection with two separate human trafficking operations discovered in the county last year. In those cases, six young women were forced into sexual slavery and were threatened, beaten and kept in bondage so they wouldn't escape, Wagstaffe said, adding that each of the victims— all California residents— are now in the county's witness protection program.

"These are not some stereotypes from some other land," he said. "That's in San Mateo County - and there are more cases."

 Both victims and those who want to report suspected cases of human trafficking are urged to call 24-hour hotline at (888) 373-7888.

Resources for victims include immediate crisis response and referrals to shelters. More information can be found at BAHC2Freedom.org.

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited. 
Doug Abbott February 13, 2014 at 06:06 PM
To Alison Madden: If you want this "rooted" out of the Bay, then you should vote out Sheriff Munks who was caught going into a house of prostitution for underaged girls in Las Vegas who had been trafficked. You should also vote out District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe who defended him. You should also vote him out because Wagstaffe hid from the press that Menlo Park police detective Jeffrey Mendez was caught with a prostitute from SFredbook, which is one of the biggest purveyors of child trafficking. It only came out because Atherton Almanac Sandy Brundage overheard two County employees talking about how Mendez still had his job. Hypocrisy lives in San Mateo County. Shame on them.
Michael G. Stogner February 15, 2014 at 11:15 PM
Naked Menlo Park Police Officer was Jeffrey Vasquez. There is no rooting anything out of San Mateo County with this bill it is a Poster bill designed to force business owners to put up or pay up and gives law enforcement an excuse to show up at these businesses. What did Ms. Tissier do in 2007 when her two top Sheriffs were detained by the FBI for being customers in Operation Dollhouse 4/21/07 Las Vegas.
Doug Abbott February 16, 2014 at 03:22 PM
Mr. Stogner: You are right, the Menlo Park police officer who was caught with the prostitute from My Redbook, the site that deals with trafficking, was named Jeffrey Vasquez. Tissier did NOTHING when Munks and Bolanos were detained by the FBI in Operation Dollhouse. Hypocrites: thy name is San Mateo County government "officials."
theresedyer1932@gmail.com February 21, 2014 at 07:15 PM
You are right Mr. Stogner,What about Greg Munks and the others that solicited employees for sex,but instead,gave them a promotion to shut them up. I can name at least four high ofiicals, I saved the newspaper clippings. The county is so corrupt, we need to co-author a book,it would be better than anything on t.v. as for human trafficking, a guy from my parish wanted to do a seminar and his boss was against it,he quit his job because the very people that were to protect the victims took their money and this is suppose to be America
big bri March 04, 2014 at 06:22 PM
Lets make prostitution legal.

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