Encinitas is a coastal community of approximately 60,000 residents, located near Vista in San Diego County, California. Prostitution and child sex trafficking are known to have occurred in the city. Local law enforcement, supported by the San Diego North County Regional Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force have conducted periodic reverse stings to combat consumer level demand for commercial sex. The first known operation, conducted in June 2012, resulted in the arrest of four sex buyers. All of the mens’ names, ages, and hometowns were released to the public.
In October 2013, media outlets reported that the NCHTTF conducted a “prostitution operation targeting ‘johns’ at a motel in Encinitas.” At least one sex buyer was apprehended during the operation; at the time of his arrest, the man had multiple cell phones seized.”Subsequent analysis of the phone information indicated the individual was texting two minor females (ages 12 and 13) to solicit prostitution.” He was arrested and charged with two counts of sex trafficking a minor.
In November, 2020, seven men were arrested during a web-based sting in Encinitas. Sheriff’s Office personnel arranged for paid sex acts with the suspects online, then took them into custody when they arrived at agreed-upon meeting spots. The seven arrestees, who ranged in age from 20 to 47, were booked on suspicion of misdemeanor prostitution charges during the five-hour operation and released on their own recognizance.
- San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
- San Diego North County Regional Prostitution/Human Trafficking Task Force
- Reverse Stings and Shaming:
- “Ilicit Sex Targeted at I-5 Viewpoint”, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 27 1995.
- “Encinitas Prostitution Detail Nets Four Arrests”, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 9 2012.
- “4 Men, Including 70-Year-Old, Arrested on Charges of Soliciting Prostitution”, Encinitas Patch, June 9 2012.
- “Arrest Made in Encinitas Prostitution Sting”, Encinitas Patch, October 1 2013.
- Web-Based Reverse Sting:
- Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area: