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Huntington Beach is a seaside suburb of Los Angeles, with a population of about 200,000. Indoor prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified as a key concerns in the city for decades. In the late 1980s, for example, three adult men were arrested and charged with attempting to recruit minor girls to be sexually exploited in a downtown Huntington Beach brothel; one of the offenders was ultimately sentenced to eight years in prison. In mid-2012, media outlets reported that Huntington Beach had experienced a 500 percent increase in the number of massage parlors in the city since the state started to oversee the operations. As of March 2013, the city reportedly had more than 60 massage parlors, some of which were suspected to be fronts for prostitution according to the Huntington Beach Police Department. By 2015, the number was reportedly 74 massage businesses.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. In 2003, the Los Angeles Police Department Organized Crime and Vice Division (OCVD) executed search warrants in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties resulting from a one-year investigation into an organized prostitution ring that was operating in Southern California. The investigation began in April 2002 after the Huntington Beach Police Department discovered an in-call prostitution service that was operating out of residential apartments in Huntington Beach. During the service of a subsequent search warrant, Huntington Beach Police Department detectives “arrested one female for prostitution and 13 male customers for soliciting [an] undercover female Huntington Beach Police detectives at a medical office run by the prostitution organization.” The arrestees’ identities were not disclosed in news reports.
Brothel Raids Resulting in Sex Buyer Arrests:
- “Multi-Agency Task Force Cracks down on Prostitution Ring,” News Release, Los Angeles Police Department, April 2 2003.
- “26 Are Nabbed in Sex Sting // Prostitution Ring Was Run out of Apartments in Orange and Los Angeles Counties, Authorities Say,” Orange County Register, April 4 2003.
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “Newport Man Accused of Soliciting Teen,” Orange County Register, January 23 2010.
- “Gregory Ruiz Aguirre Conviction Overturned in Surf City Cops’ Craigslist Underage Sex Sting,” OC Weekly, April 11 2012.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “2 Huntington Residents, Laguna Beach Man Arrested on Sex Charges,” Orange County Register, March 9 1988.
- “Pimping Suspect’s Arrest Could Alter Street Scene,” Orange County Register, March 17 1988.
- “Ex-Officer Sentenced for Brothel; He Gets 8-Year Term on 28 Sex Charges,” Orange County Register, July 9 1988.
- https://www.latimes.com/newport-beach-ceo-and-huntington-beach-woman-charged-with-child-prostitution (2020)
- https://www.siliconvalley.com/child-prostitution-charges-filed-against-newport-beach-ceo-of-international-food-company/ (2020)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Huntington Police Arrest 10 on Prostitution-Related Charges,” Orange County Register, May 27 1987.
- “2 Acupuncture Clinics Raided; Alleged Prostitutes Arrested,” Orange County Register, June 17 1988.
- “Policeman Files Lawsuit Claiming Woman Bit Him; COURTS: Huntington Officer Says He Was Attacked during a Prostitution Investigation,” Orange County Register, April 23 1993.
- “Huntington Police Seek Stricter Massage Parlor Laws,” Orange County Register, May 13 1993.
- “Three Face Charges of Running Prostitution Ring,” Long Beach Press-Telegram, December 28 1995.
- “Huntington Beach Massagers No Longer Need HIV Testing,” Los Angeles Times, January 19 2002.
- “Prostitution Fight Hits Web,” Orange County Register, August 17 2008.
- “Inspections Net 71 Violations at Massage Parlors,” Huntington Beach Independent, May 10 2012.
- “H.B. Delays Limits on Massage Parlors,” Huntington Beach Independent, June 7 2012.
- “Huntington Beach Moves to Restrict Massage Parlors,” Orange County Register, March 6 2013.
- “O.C. Cities Say State Agency Hinders Massage Crackdown,” Orange County Register, March 24 2013.
- “Massage Parlor Boom Raises Concerns about Illicit Activity,” KCET-TV 28, March 25 2013.
- https://www.ocregister.com/huntington-beach-takes-aim-at-massage-parlors-to-stop-human-trafficking-prostitution/ (2015)
- https://behindthebadge.com/hbpds-mamasan-case-landmark-fight-human-trafficking/ (2015)