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Berkeley is a city of approximately 123,000 residents, located on the eastern shore of San Francisco Bay in northern California. A wide range of crimes have occurred during prostitution transactions, including assault and battery with deadly weapons, drug trafficking, sexual assault, and serial murders specifically targeting prostituted women. Driven by community complaints and a need to combat thew array of prostitution related crimes, the Berkeley Police Department has used demand reduction tactics. For example, police conducted a street-level reverse sting in South Berkeley in March 2005. The operation utilized undercover women officers, who served as decoys along the San Pablo Avenue corridor. A total of 12 male sex buyers were arrested. The identities of arrestees were not released to the media.
Loss of employment is another consequence of sex buying that has occurred within the city. For example, in 2015, the University of California at Berkeley announced that it had dismissed an assistant football coach who was arrested in Oakland last week for allegedly soliciting an undercover officer during a prostitution sting. Alameda County prosecutors said the university’s recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach was one of five “johns” who were arrested in the anti-human trafficking operation in Oakland in April 2015 on a misdemeanor charge of solicitation. Cal’s athletics department initially placed the man on administrative leave, and later announced that they were not renewing his contract and he would no longer represent or act on behalf of the university in any capacity. The man’s identity was included in news reports.
- “Crime Beat”, Berkeley Voice, October 25 2002.
- “Berkeley Police Sting Targets Prostitution”, Daily Californian, March 29 2005.
Employment Loss, Identity Disclosure:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Police Blotter”, Berkeley Daily Planet, February 11 2009.
- “Six Arrested in Prostitution B Sting”, Media Release, Berkeley Police Department, October 20 2008.
- “Local Massage Parlor May Face Unhappy Ending”, Berkeley Daily Californian, January 20 2011.
- “Crack Down on Massage Parlors Suspected of Prostitution”, Berkeleyside, June 7 2012.
- “Point-Counterpoint: Should UC Police Run Bathroom Sex Stings?”, Informant/KALW News, February 17 2012.
- https://bpr.berkeley.edu/a-spotlight-on-the-red-light-district/ (2018)
- https://www.dailycal.org/berkeley-police-department-implements-policy-changes-to-protect-sex-workers/ (2019)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Child Prostitution Investigations in Berkeley Drop 40 Percent Since Last Year”, Berkeley Daily Californian, December 8 2011.
- “The Facts About Youth Prostitution in Berkeley”, Berkeley Patch, December 12 2011.
- “How an Infamous Berkeley Human Trafficking Case Fueled Reform”, San Francisco Public Press, February 16 2012.
- “Berkeley Police Help with Prostitution Sting”, Berkeley Patch, November 7 2012.
- “Man Charged with Human Trafficking, Drug Sales, Hammer Assault after Berkeley Car Stop,” Berkeleyside, July 10 2015.
- https://www.berkeleyside.org/berkeley-couple-charged-human-trafficking-pimping (2022)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area: