Barstow is a city in San Bernardino County, in southern California, with a population of around 24,000. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified as substantial problems in the area.
In an effort to combat demand for commercial sex, which drives both prostitution and sex trafficking, police have engaged in a number of efforts. It is unclear when local law enforcement first began using reverse stings, but there is record of at least two street-level operations being conducted that resulted in the arrest of 20 men and one juvenile. In general, prostitution arrests are not common in Barstow. However, the area of California that Barstow occupies has been identified as a high-risk area for immigrant human trafficking, especially from Mexico. Earlier in 2012, several police officers from the Barstow department participated in a sex trafficking training that was organized by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
- Barstow Police Department
- San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
- San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office
Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “Crime and Public Safety; Barstow; Sting by Sheriff’s Deputies Nets 8 Arrests”, San Bernardino Sun, May 30 2003.
- “Safety Logs, June 1, 2009; More than Dozen Arrested in Prostitution Sweep”, Barstow Desert Dispatch, June 1 2009.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Barstow Man Accepts Plea Deal, Faces Child Prostitution Charges in AZ”, Barstow Desert Dispatch, June 26 2009.
- “District Attorney’s Film Sheds Light on Human Sex Trafficking in San Bernardino County”, San Bernardino Sun, January 16 2013.
- http://wp.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/pressreleasesfor2017/barstow-sex-trafficking-arrest/ (2017)
- http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20180313/prostitute-known-as-pretty-hoe-charged-in-sex-trafficking (2018)
Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- http://www.topix.com/forum/city/etiwanda-ca/ (2010)
- “Masseuse Arrested for Soliciting Sex with Undercover Officer”, Barstow Desert Dispatch, September 4 2012.
- http://sbcsentinel.com/2014/12/barstow-joins-county-in-surrendering-its-prostitution-regulating-leverage (2014)
- http://www.vvdailypress.com/news/20180816/eight-johns-arrested-in-prostitution-operation-at-hesperia-motel (2018)