|IT Based Tactics||✓|
Oakland is a city of approximately 434,000 residents, located just east of San Francisco on the San Francisco Bay. While there are areas of affluence, most of the city can be described as working class to poor; in 2007, 17% of city residents lived below the poverty line. The city’s economy has been particularly hard hit in the past few decades, creating the conditions for prostitution and sex trafficking (and a wide range of related crimes) to flourish. Budget cuts have also forced law enforcement to triage available resources and limited nonprofits’ and community organizations’ ability to secure funding for anti-prostitution initiatives. Oakland’s location along interstate transportation routes, its reputation as a major seaport, and proximity to San Francisco has spurred the expansion of its commercial sex market. The presence of street gangs and an active drug trafficking market have further complicated the issue. Prostituted women and girls have been targeted in homicides, and at least one serial killer of prostituted persons was active in the city.
In response to such serious and persistent problems, Oakland residents and local law enforcement have employed a range of tactics to identify, apprehend, and deter sex buyers. The Oakland Police Department began conducting street-level reverse stings in the mid-1970s. In February 1975, following an OPD sex buyer sting, an Oakland judge ruled that, “it was unconstitutional to treat prostitution customers different from prostitutes.” The case was the culmination of a suit brought against the city by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alleging discriminatory enforcement of prostitution laws. In previous years, city sex buyers were issued citations and ordered to appear for STD screening within a week of arrest; prostituted women, in contrast, were taken into custody and “quarantined” (i.e. forced to remain in custody until the results of their STD screenings were available). Since the ruling, arrested sex buyers have been forced to submit to the same booking and health screening procedures required of prostituted women.
Since the mid-1970s, Oakland has deployed street-level reverse stings on a regular basis. In their efforts, police have engaged in discussions with local residents to determine “problem areas” to be targeted in undercover operations. While their frequency has varied, OPD stings are generally conducted 2-4 times per month. When contacted for the National Assessment, the OPD reported that individual operations typically last 5-6 hours, and result in an average of 14-20 arrests. Sex buyer sting teams consist of one decoy, approximately eight officers in supporting roles, and several vehicles (usually two cruisers, two unmarked autos, and one “paddy wagon” or van). Two unmarked cars are usually parked within half a block of the decoy, each containing undercover officers who maintain constant sightlines for security purposes. Two cruisers, each containing two officers, are used for “takedowns” and arrests following a signal from the female officer. The two cruisers emerge from hiding and park near the sex buyer’s vehicle, place him in handcuffs, and escort him to a paddy wagon or van for transport to jail. Another officer will drive the arrested man’s vehicle to a staging area or directly to a storage lot where it is impounded. Oakland will sometimes field relatively large teams to conduct reverse stings, with two or three decoys and over 20 officers in supporting roles.
The operations are relatively costly in Oakland, due to the use of overtime to pay officers in addition to the large number of officers per operation. The reverse sting team crews cost about $7.5-9K per vice operation; about twice the cost of many other cities that do not use overtime and require fewer officers. When asked, the OPD has stated that overtime is often necessary as city police have too much other work during the day. They have reported significant safety concerns with using fewer officers; in the past, the OPD has experienced a few “close calls” wherein the female decoy was reportedly at risk of being kidnapped. To finance reversals, the city has at times relied upon grants (such as Weed and Seed) to supplement or support operations.
In 1997, the Oakland PD began seizing male sex buyers’ cars to curb a reported increase in “commuter criminal” arrests (e.g. suburban men who enter Oakland with the principle intent of patronizing a prostituted woman). Utilizing a city ordinance, officers began confiscating the vehicles of individuals arrested for prostitution-related offenses. Offenders were issued a “receipt”, and given 10 days to appeal the seizure in Alameda County’s Superior Court. Those who were not granted an appeal permanently forfeited the vehicle to the county. Between 1997 and 1999, the Oakland City District Attorney reported that the city had seized and impounded a total of 350 vehicles, over 60% of which belonged to out-of-towners. While the majority of offenders were reportedly able to recover their vehicles following appeal, the majority were forced to pay the city an average of 20% of the car’s value, plus towing and storage fees.
In July 2007, the California Supreme Court ruled that city seizure ordinances violated preexisting state law. The ruling does not prevent police from towing vehicles used for solicitation, however, as such towing(s) “are covered under the state’s Vehicle Code.”
Geographic Exclusion Zones (SOAP Orders)
Once convicted of solicitation, an Oakland sex buyer will be subject to SOAP (or Stay Out of Areas of Prostitution) orders, barring him from parts of the city known for commercial sex sales. A convicted sex buyer must avoid these areas, dubbed geographic exclusion zones, unless it is understood and agreed that he has a legal right to be there (e.g., his place of business is there). In these instances, an offender may be permitted in the vicinity during hours appropriate to his/her legal right (e.g., 9AM-5PM). To ensure that geographic exclusion zones are enforced, the OPD produces an updated list of all offenders currently subject to SOAP orders and distributes them to city police on a monthly basis. If officers see a convicted sex buyer in an exclusion area, they may pull up an electronic version of the current list using MDTs in police cars. While most patrol officers know the “key players” on their beat, the list includes arrest photos that may be scanned and sorted by geographic area. When contacted for the National Assessment, the OPD reported that over 300 individuals were included in the department’s last SOAP list.
Public Education/Awareness Campaigns
Oakland is divided into 57 community policing beats that are organized into neighborhood crime councils. The police have made presentations at town halls. They have also organized education and awareness meetings with local hotels/motels and organized them into a Yahoo chat group, to encourage discussion among business owners and facilitate reports of suspicious activity to law enforcement. To this end, the OPD has established and distributed an informal protocol for business owners who suspect prostitution activity in the vicinity. If suspected, officers implore business owners to record a description of the prostituted woman/women, pimps/sex traffickers, sex buyers, and vehicles involved, as well as the times and locations where the activity was seen. All descriptions should then be relayed to police through the city’s non-emergency tip line. Such reports have been critical because, according to the OPD, those engaged in illegal activity frequently disperse before officers arrive.
Dear John Letters
In mid-2011, police further empowered residents by beginning a “Dear John” campaign in collaboration with residents of the city’s San Antonio neighborhood. Members of the community were “taught to identify and [record] the license plate numbers and state of origin of cars driven by people who appear to be soliciting [prostituted women].” Residents were then told they could submit the information anonymously to police, or utilize the East Bay Youth Center (EBYC) or Oakland Community Organizations (OCO) as intermediaries. Police agreed to then process the report and mail a letter to the individual, noting that “they were seen in an area of high prostitution and that such activity is illegal and unacceptable to local residents.” Each letter includes the following statement: Prostitution is not a victimless crime and is associated with kidnapping, human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children. These are grave concerns to the City and city residents. A full text copy of Oakland’s form letter can be found HERE.
In recent years, community leaders and local residents have expanded the city’s anti-prostitution efforts with their own demand-driven initiatives. Much of the work has centered on increasing assistance to and recovery operations for children and teenagers involved in the Oakland sex trade. Domestic minor sex trafficking is a major issue in the city, and residents have taken note. By late December 2012, the city’s Family Justice Center had reportedly processed 19,000 cases of human trafficking, many of them involving the sexual exploitation of minors.
To address the issue, city residents have organized several town hall discussions, protests and rallies to demand harsher penalties for traffickers and sex buyers and greater aid to victims. In 2011, neighborhood groups and community members joined forces to erect a billboard targeting sex buyers along an area of International Boulevard notorious for street prostitution. It includes a phone number to report suspected underage prostitution, and includes the following inscription: Here to buy sex? STOP IT. What if she was your daughter? We are mothers here. And we WILL report you.
Currently, Oakland police are trying to institute legislation mandating that hotels and motels have surveillance cameras in their lobby. Hotels/motels have to renew their business permits periodically; to facilitate the installation of security cameras, the OPD and city officials have considered reducing the permit fee, but formal changes to legislations have yet to be made. Should cameras be installed, officers argue they can reduce prostitution activity by deterring individuals from soliciting sex in monitored areas, and increasing the chances of conviction for offenders (by providing video evidence). Despite this, many motel and hotel owners continue to oppose the idea. When asked, these individuals most often state they are afraid of losing revenue and facing closure, and are concerned about retaliation from the prostitution rings, something some hotels face “on a daily basis.”
Disclosure of Identities
To deter sex buyers, the OPD has released the names and other identifying information (ages, cities of residence, mugshots) of sex buyers since the mid-1980s. Local officials and law enforcement ramped up their “shaming” effort in June 2014, when the city announced it had launched a website to publicize the identities of men arrested for attempting to procure or purchase sex in Oakland. The site, Enough – Putting an End to Sex Trafficking in Oakland, also contains links and other resources for local residents who wish to learn more about or report a suspected case of human trafficking. The site will be updated on a biweekly basis with photos of recent arrestees, and contains the following disclaimer:
THIS IS A PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT
The individuals shown below have been arrested and charged. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The information provided below is intended to keep our community informed about the individuals who have been arrested and charged for prostitution-related offenses.
Loss of employment is also a consequence of buying sex in the city. For example, in 2006, a former Oakland Fire Department lieutenant was placed on administrative leave after being arrested during a street-level reverse sting operation. The former lieutenant was one of 10 men arrested on suspicion of soliciting an act of prostitution in a sting operation known as Beat Feet. According to authorities, the former lieutenant, in addition to the other arrested sex buyers, had their vehicles seized. City officials considered Beat Feet an important deterrent in reducing prostitution and sex trafficking, as well as violence associated with such crimes. In 2016, the Oakland Police Department sent letters of intent to fire four Oakland police officers as the result of a high profile investigation. Investigators discovered that in addition to attempted sexual assault, some of these officers went into law enforcement databases for personal reasons, helped people evade arrest for prostitution, lied to investigators, and failed to report allegations of sexual contact between a minor and an Oakland police officer. “Dozens” of current and former officers were investigated after the prostituted woman told investigators that officers from numerous Bay Area police agencies who had solicited commercial sex from the her in exchange for money and/or inside information about upcoming prostitution stings. Further, she alleged that in a few instances, she was underage. The investigation implicated officers from Oakland, Livermore, Richmond, the Alameda and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Departments, amongst other local agencies. It led to lawsuits against the cities of Oakland and Richmond. Four Richmond officers were implicated in the scandal out of the 11 who were investigated, and three were fired. Additionally, a former sheriff’s deputy from Contra Cost Sheriff’s Department resigned from his position as a result of being accused of soliciting the woman when she was a minor for sex. In September of 2016, the former Contra Costa Sheriff’s deputy and two Oakland police officers were charged with felony offenses of sexually exploiting a minor.
Sex Buyer Arrests:
Sex buyers have also been arrested as the result of unrelated investigations, traffic stops, or through citizen reports to police. For example, in the fall of 2008, 32 people were arrested in connection with what officials described as a prostitution network of more than a dozen local homes and businesses in the Oakland area. The investigation began with a tip from a local resident and grew to use the resources of 120 deputies, officers and agencies. In addition to arrests, authorities seized $50,000 in cash, froze another $200,000 in assets and seized 15 cars, of which seven of them were high-end luxury vehicles used to operate the businesses. According to officials, the investigation was focused on apprehending sex buyers, sex traffickers, and business owners. During one of the twelve establishments in which officials executed a search warrant, Alameda County sheriff’s investigators took over the business – using undercover female officers as decoys – and arrested nine male sex buyers.
In 2016, the Alameda County’s H.E.A.T. Watch began implemented citizen cyber patrols. These types of patrols are a citizen-led variation on the web-based reverse sting where male citizens organize cyber patrols and use their technological abilities to prevent buying before law enforcement gets involved. The citizen-activists create a decoy online ad and when buyers respond and provide their information, the cyber patrol sends video clips, texts, and links to websites that educate the prospective buyer about the negative consequences of his actions. Sometimes the cyber activists participate in a scripted phone call with the prospective sex buyer. Cyber patrols in Alameda County are made possible through law enforcement’s collaboration with the EPIK Project. EPIK was founded in 2012 in response to the heinous reality of sex trafficking in the United States and use technology to disrupt the buying of sex at the point of sale. Functioning as a “highly trained and sophisticated neighborhood watch program”, EPIK provide law enforcement with specific information related to the illegal activity of prostitution and sex trafficking. EPIK seeks to mobilize male allies to disrupt the commercial sex market by equipping them to confront the roots of exploitation and encouraging them to effectively collaborate within the broader anti-trafficking movement. EPIK has been implemented in California’s Alameda County’s H.E.A.T Watch, a five-point program designed to combat sex trafficking. Law enforcement officials use a decoy website advertising for-purchase sex which result in the site getting between 15,000 and 40,000 views a month. This translates into 3,000 to 5,000 clicks a month. The site collects potential sex buyers’ IP addresses, and alerts them of both the illegality of their actions and the fact that the DA’s office prosecutes sex buyers. In some instances, the decoy site connects the potential sex buyer to an EPIK Project volunteer. Additionally, Operation Big Sister, a nonprofit organization based in Iceland, has proposed a similar concept to that of EPIK, but seek to enable anyone, anywhere in the world with internet access, to be “a Big Sister.” The city of Oakland and Alameda County offered to be the platform’s test pilot sites for the project.
In 2016, the Alameda County CEASE Network (Northern California CEASE Network) and the City of Oakland, in partnership with local volunteers, created an online tool called Report John, that allows individuals to report the license plate numbers of cars pulling over on streets that are synonymous with sex buying. The initiative grew out of a grassroots movement started by the East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC), an Oakland-based community-building nonprofit that works with youth in low-income neighborhoods. Many of the nonprofit’s clients didn’t feel comfortable reporting sex buyers directly to the police; therefore, the center became an intermediary, forwarding reports of suspected sex buying to law enforcement officials. To ensure that all reporters remained anonymous, in September of 2016, the Alameda County DA’s Office and the City of Oakland brought ReportJohn.org online. When a report is made, information is shared with the lieutenant of Oakland Police’s Vice/Child Exploitation Unit, where it’s cross-referenced to a database.
- Oakland Police Department
- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
- Oakland City Attorney’s Office
- San Francisco Police Department
- Alameda County Sheriff’s Office
- Alameda County Superior Court
- Alameda County District Attorney’s Office
- Southern Alameda County Major Crimes Task Force
- Freemont Police Department
- East Bay Asian Youth Center
- EPIK Project
- CEASE Network
- Demand Abolition
- Hunt Alternatives
- Operation Big Sister
- “Prostitute, Customer Equally Guilty Says Oakland Court Ruling”, Lewiston Evening Journal, March 20 1975.
- “Prostitution Crackdown Nets a Lot of Men”, Washington Observer-Reporter, April 26 1984.
- “Oakland Launches ‘Sting’ Plan to Combat Prostitution”, Oakland Tribune, September 19 2002.
- “Police Crack Down on Pimps and Johns”, Oakland Tribune, July 7 2004.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets Melange of Suspects”, Oakland Tribune, August 14 2004.
- “Police Continue Prostitution Crackdown”, Oakland Tribune, September 21 2004.
- “East Oakland Police Sting Nets 82 Arrests”, Oakland Tribune, November 2 2004.
- “Early Prostitution Sting Nets 85 Arrests”, Oakland Tribune, November 9 2004.
- “Operation Shame Prostitution Sting Nets 24 ‘Johns’, 2 Pimps”, Oakland Tribune, March 12 2005.
- “Personal Life, Public Life Collide: Leader Battling Sex Crimes in Oakland Sees Son Arrested”, San Jose Mercury News, July 4 2005.
- “Oakland Pastor Among Those Arrested During Prostitution Sting”, San Diego Daily Transcript, September 25 2005.
- “OAKLAND: 131 Arrested During Recent Prostitution Sting”, Los Angeles Times, July 17 2007.
- “Oakland Prostitution Sting Takes Aim at Johns”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, April 9 2011.
- “Undercover on ‘the Track’ with the Oakland PD”, Bay Citizen, April 11 2011.
Disclosure of Identities:
- Enough – Putting an End to Sex Trafficking in Oakland
- “Name List Cuts Prostitute Hiring”, Ocala Star-Banner, August 1 1982.
- “Oakland to Identify Prostitutes, ‘Johns'”, San Jose Mercury News, February 18 1987.
- “Oakland Johns Get Warning, Photographs on Billboard Blurred for Now”, San Jose Mercury News, June 2 2005.
- “Billboards to Target ‘Johns'”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 5 2005.
- “Dear Johns: For Shame”, Alternet, January 17 2006.
- “Website in Oakland to Shame Pimps, Johns”, San Francisco Chronicle, June 30 2014.
- “Oakland Police Post Photos of Suspected Pimps on City Website”, Contra Costa Times, July 1 2014.
- https://www.mercurynews.com/oakland-police-post-photos-of-suspected-pimps-on-city-website/ (2014)
- “California Police Use Social Media to Out ‘Johns'”, CBS/KMAX-TV 13, September 6 2014.
- “‘John Shaming’ a Potent Tactic for Bay Area Police,” San Fransisco Gate, September 6, 2014.
Sex Buyer Arrests:
- https://www.sfgate.com/32-arrested-in-East-Bay-prostitution-sting (2008)
- https://www.eastbaytimes.com/arrested-in-east-bay-prostitution-sting/ (2008)
- City of Oakland Annual Police Report (2008)
Sex Buyer Fired and/or Resigned Due to Arrest:
- Prostitution Sting Snares City Firefighter (2006)
- https://www.washingtonpost.com/four-oakland-police-officers-fired-suspended-sexual-misconduct (2016)
- https://www.sfgate.com/Teen-details-police-sex-abuse-scandal (2016)
- https://www.sfgate.com/Contra-Costa-deputy-resigns-as-teen-names-him-in (2016)
- https://www.eastbaytimes.com/east-bay-sex-exploitation-scandal-more-officers-charged/ (2016)
- https://www.eastbaytimes.com/police-sex-exploitation-scandal-ex-oakland-cop-sentenced (2017)
- https://www.eastbaytimes.com/richmond-police-officer-tied-to-sex-scandal-to-return-to-force/ (2017)
“Dear John” Letters:
- “‘Dear John’ Letters: New Tool to Fight Prostitution”, Bay Citizen, June 20 2011.
- “Oakland Neighborhood Fights Prostitution Problem”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, June 22 2011.
- “Dear John: Oakland Residents Are Sending Your License Plate Number to the Cops”, Oakland North, October 11 2012.
- “LA Officials Consider ‘Dear John’ Letters to Curb Prostitution”, KPCC-AM 89.3, October 21 2013.
- Can a letter make a street safer? Oakland’s Dear John campaign will find out (2013)
- Dear John Letter (2016)
- “Prostitutes’ Customers May Lose Cars”, San Jose Mercury News, December 28 1993.
- “Program Takes Cars of Johns, Drug Buyers”, Lodi News-Sentinel, September 23 1997.
- “ACLU Challenges Oakland Seizure Ordinance”, Ledger Dispatch, July 24 1998.
- “Davis Veto Preserves Seizures of Cars in Drug, Prostitution Cases”, Lodi News-Sentinel, October 6 1999.
- “Ruling Allows Seizure of Cars in Some Crimes”, San Jose Mercury News, July 25 2000.
- “Court Won’t Stall Vehicle Seizure Law”, Sonora Union Democrat, October 18 2000.
- “Johns Will Lose Their Cars”, Daily News of Los Angeles, December 21 2002.
- “On the Law: Vehicle Seizures Cut Crime, Raise Legal Questions”, Los Angeles Times, July 9 2004.
- “Supreme Court Ruling Kills Oakland Law Allowing Seizure of Cars Used to Pick Up Prostitutes or Drugs”, Berkeley Daily Planet, July 27 2007.
- “Court Strikes Forfeiture Ordinance for Cars Used to Solicit Prostitutes”, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, January 9 2008.
- “Oakland Ready to Go After Johns (2005)
- https://www.nbcbayarea.com/oakland-seeks-last-call-at-prostitution-motel-near-lake-merritt/ (2012)
- “Oakland Residents Seek Help Against Drug Dealers, Prostitutes”, Lakeland Ledger, September 24 1984.
- “Two Oakland Neighborhoods Holding Anti-Prostitution Rally”, San Jose Mercury News, March 31 2011.
- “Anti-Prostitution Rally in Oakland Draws Hundreds”, Bay Citizen, April 1 2011.
- “Community Rallies Against Underage Sex Trade in Oakland”, Oakland North, April 1 2011.
- “Protesters March in Oakland to Condemn Human Trafficking”, Oakland North, April 21 2011.
- “Johns Targeted Through Billboards in Oakland”, ABC/KGO-TV 7, August 4 2011.
- “Oakland Neighbors Rise Up to Fight Prostitution”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, August 5 2011.
- “Calif. Community Takes Action Against Sex Trafficking”, NPR, September 19 2011.
- “East Bay Community Groups, Citizens, Nonprofits Help Fight Prostitution”, San Jose Mercury News, December 4 2011.
- “Oakland Residents and Police Kickoff New Campaign to Reduce Prostitution”, Oakland North, September 15 2012.
- H.E.A.T. 5 Point Strategy
- What is H.E.A.T. Watch
- H.E.A.T. Watch Brochure
- CEASE Network Alameda County
- CEASE Network Information
- https://www.eastbaytimes.com/oakland-voices-human-trafficking-is-the-slavery-of-our-time (2016)
- EPIK Project Grant (2017)
- https://imprintnews.org/how-to-catch-a-predator-neutering-the-sex-industry (2018)
- Alameda County Human Trafficking Protocol for Law Enforcement (2019)
- https://www.operationbigsister.com/the-digital-platform-for-action (2021)
- Operation Big Sister
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “One Child at a Time”, East Bay Express, January 30 2002.
- “A Search for Ways to End Tragedy of Teenage Prostitution”, Oakland Tribune, July 17 2002.
- “Group Homes to Offer Girls a Haven from Prostitution; Two Oakland Houses Try a New Way to Keep Child Sex Workers Off the Streets”, San Jose Mercury News, May 25 2003.
- “East Bay Man Forces Teen into Prostitution; Richmond Resident to Spend 10 Years in Prison for Luring 17-Year-Old from Canada to Oakland”, Oakland Tribune, July 23 2003.
- “Girl Allegedly Abducted for Prostitution”, Oakland Tribune, March 19 2004.
- “Oakland Fights to Turn Tide of Rising Child Prostitution”, Oakland Tribune, July 31 2004.
- “Oakland Police Net 34 in Prostitution Sting”, Oakland Tribune, June 4 2005.
- “Underage Prostitution Reaching Crisis Level on Streets of Oakland”, Oakland Tribune, June 7 2005.
- “Area Conference Takes on Child Prostitution”, Oakland Tribune, May 4 2006.
- “Oakland Sees Spike in Child Prostitution”, ABC/KGO-TV 7, December 18 2006.
- “Agencies Battle Child Sex Trafficking”, Fremont Argus, December 26 2006.
- “Sergeant Charged in Sex with Underage Prostitute”, Oakland Tribune, June 19 2007.
- “Prostitution Sting Aims to Help Exploited Minors”, Oakland Tribune, July 17 2007.
- “Child Prostitution Numbers Are Up as Ages Are Down”, Oakland Tribune, March 14 2008.
- “City Comes to Grips with Teen Prostitution; ‘Epidemic’ Alarms Oakland”, Inside Bay Area, April 21 2008.
- “Oakland Girl Rebuilds Life After Month as a Prostitute”, Oroville Mercury-Register, April 22 2008.
- “Cops Shift Focus, Treat Child Prostitutes as Victims”, Oakland Tribune, April 23 2008.
- “No Longer Invisible”, Town Hall Forum at the Youth Uprising Center, KPFA 94.1 – Hard Knock Radio, April 24 2008.
- “Teen Prostitution in Oakland”, NPR/KQED, April 24 2008.
- “Sexual Exploitation of Minors Boils Down to Basic Economics”, Oakland Tribune, April 25 2008.
- “Four Kids Rescued from Trafficking in Oakland”, ABC/KGO-TV 7, June 25 2008.
- “Teen Prostitute Describes Life on the Streets”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, September 20 2008.
- “More than 100 Arrested in Child Prostitution Sting”, Bakersfield Now, October 28 2008.
- “Byron Williams: Legislation Would Establish Child Prostitutes as Victims”, Oakland Tribune, December 18 2008.
- “Teen Prostitution Thrives in Oakland”, East Bay Express, February 16 2009.
- “Sting Nets Prostitution Arrests in Bay Area”, San Jose Mercury News, February 25 2009.
- “City Comes to Grips with Teen Prostitution”, Oakland Tribune, April 22 2009.
- “Former Teenage Prostitutes Escape the Streets”, New Jersey Newsroom, June 19 2009.
- “As More Oakland Youth Join Sex Trade, Law Enforcement Explores Alternatives to Incarceration”, Oakland North, March 13 2010.
- “Oakland Man Could Face Life in Prison in Sex Trafficking Case”, Hayward Daily Review, March 30 2010.
- “OPD Goes Undercover to Get Young Prostitutes Off the Street”, Oakland North, April 6 2010.
- “Prostitution Sweep Aims to Rescue Young Victims”, ABC/KGO-TV 7, November 8 2010.
- “Bay Area Turns Up the HEAT on Underage Prostitution”, Bay Citizen, November 11 2010.
- “Trafficked Teen Girls Describe Life in ‘the Game'”, NPR, December 6 2010.
- “Arresting Youth in Sex Trafficking Raises Debate”, NPR, December 7 2010.
- “Oakland Church Hosts Symposium on Human Trafficking”, Oakland North, April 11 2011.
- “Oakland Stepping Up Efforts to Stop Child Prostitution”, Bay Citizen, April 20 2011.
- “In Oakland, Redefining Sex Trade Workers as Abuse Victims”, New York Times, May 23 2011.
- “Oakland Tribune Editorial: Swanson Bill Will Help Nail Sex Traffickers”, San Mateo County Times, June 2 2011.
- “In Oakland, a Center Works to Protect Cambodian Girls from Sexual Exploitation”, Oakland North, December 14 2011.
- “Six Girls Rescued from Sex Slave Traffickers in Crackdown on Underage Prostitution”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, June 25 2012.
- “California Voted ‘Yes’ on Prop 35; Experts, Police and Sex Workers Disagree on Impact”, Oakland North, November 19 2012.
- “Woman Gets Nine Years in Bay Area Sex Trafficking Ring”, San Jose Mercury News, November 30 2012.
- “Alameda County D.A. Calls Oakland Crime ‘Out of Control'”, San Jose Mercury News, December 20 2012.
- “Officials Try to Stop Rampant Prostitution on ‘the Track'”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, May 2 2013.
- “5 Accused of Abducting Teen from Compton Allegedly for Prostitution”, CBS/KCAL-TV 9, August 18 2013.
- “Report Urges New Approach to Child Prostitution in Oakland and Elsewhere”, Oakland Local, September 27 2013.
- “Six Teen Prostitutes Rescued in Bay Area Child-Sex Sting”, San Jose Mercury News, June 24 2014.
- “Man Gets Prison Term for Pimping Teen Girl across Southern California,” Los Angeles Times, November 5 2014.
- “FONTANA: Couple Arrested in Teenage Prostitution Case,” Riverside Press-Enterprise, February 24 2016.
- https://pioneertable.com/26-year-old-convicted-in-child-sex-trafficking-case/ (2022)
- https://www.kqed.org/state-shelter-program-shutters-in-oakland-brace-for-next-steps (2022)
- https://www.mercurynews.com/couple-accused-flying-teen-girl-texas-oakland-sex-trafficking (2022)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Prostitution Patron Also Faces Jail”, Los Angeles Times, February 28 1975.
- “Prostitution Law Out in Oakland, Calif.”, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 28 1975.
- “Customer Arrests Wanted”, Regina Leader-Post, March 4 1975.
- “Parts of Ruling on Prostitution Arrests Voided”, Los Angeles Times, October 1 1975.
- “Alleged Prostitution Ring Busted: 117 ‘Escorts’ Serviced 12,000 Credit Card Customers, Police Say”, Modesto Bee, August 15 1986.
- “Oakland Church Buys Motel in Fight Against Drugs, Prostitution”, San Jose Mercury News, January 1 1989.
- “In Brief: Oakland Church Wants to Fence Off Prostitutes”, Los Angeles Times, October 22 1990.
- “School Demands City Curb Pimps, Prostitutes”, Oakland Tribune, October 4 2002.
- “Teacher Arrested in Prostitution Sting”, Oakland Tribune, August 19 2003.
- “Oakland Police Net 34 in Prostitution Sting”, Oakland Tribune, June 4 2005.
- “Johns Browsing for Prostitutes on the Web”, Oakland Tribune, July 5 2005.
- City of Oakland Annual Police Report (2008)
- “Fighting Prostitution One Motel at a Time”, New York Times, December 9 2010.
- “Oakland Sues 3 Hotels Over Prostitution”, Bay Citizen, December 22 2010.
- “Woman Arrested for Prostitution While Her 1-Month-Old Twins Slept in Car”, Bay Citizen, April 21 2011.
- “Judge Orders Anti-Prostitution Measures at Oakland Motels”, Bay Citizen, October 7 2011.
- “Oakland Prostitution Hub Closed, Sold”, San Francisco Chronicle, August 15 2013.
- “To Fight Child Prostitution, Shame the Johns”, San Francisco Chronicle, January 16 2014.
- “Oakland Can Now Order Landlords to Evict Sex Workers,” City Lab, October 22 2014.
- https://www.msn.com/oakland-residents-dismayed-influx-sex-workers-quiet-neighborhood (2022)
- https://meaww.com/residents-oakland-appalled-invasion-of-sex-workers-in-neighbourhood (2022)
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “‘Street Man’ Describes Slaying of Prostitute”, Bangor Daily News, March 9 1979.
- “Lawyer Says Witness Murdered Prostitute”, Palm Beach Post, March 13 1979.
- “Murder Charges Against Newton Dismissed”, Wilmington Star-News, September 28 1979.
- “Ex-Policeman Stuffed Victims in Steel Drums, Officials Say”, Ocala Star-Banner, September 19 1983.
- “Ex-Policeman Charged in 5 Killings”, New London Day, September 20 1983.
- “LA Police Searching for Killer of Black Prostitutes”, Pittsburgh Press, October 21 1985.
- “Navy Man Murder Suspect”, Spokane Spokesman-Review, January 27 1986.
- “6th Woman Found Slain in Oakland; Killings Frighten Prostitutes”, San Jose Mercury News, October 5 1989.
- “Calif. Prostitutes War of Killer”, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, October 9 1989.
- “Oakland Prostitute Deaths Spark Fear”, Oxnard Press-Courier, October 9 1989.
- “Man Held in Prostitutes’ Deaths”, Eugene Register-Guard, October 12 1989.
- “203 Rape Cases Reopened in Oakland As the Police Chief Admits Mistakes”, New York Times, September 20 1990.
- “Prosecution Seen As Unlikely in 228 Rape Cases in Oakland”, New York Times, November 13 1990.
- “Oakland Officer Delays Plea in Sex-Assault Cases”, San Jose Mercury News, February 6 1992.
- “Cop Assaulted Her, Prostitute Testafies”, San Jose Mercury News, April 3 1992.
- “Sheriff’s Deputy in Rapes, Blackmail; Victims Say He Promised Not to Arrest Them in Exchange for Sex”, San Jose Mercury News, November 4 1995.
- “Police Warn Prostitutes After Serial Car Rapes”, Oakland Tribune, February 6 2002.
- “Beating Death Is Ruled Homicide”, Oakland Tribune, September 1 2003.
- “Man Pleads Innocent to Decade-Old Rape, Murder”, Lodi News-Sentinel, March 3 2006.
- “Prosecutor Tells Jury Rapist Killed 3 Prostitutes for Fun”, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, August 8 2008.
- “Jurors Deliberate Fate of Accused East Bay Serial Killer”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, September 8 2008.
- “Prosecutor: ‘Animal’ Deserves to Die for Raping Prostitutes, Killing Child”, NBC/KNTV-TV 11, October 13 2008.
- “East Bay Serial Killer Sentenced to Death”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, November 22 2008.
- “Death for Choyce”, Stockton Record, December 16 2008.
- “Charges Filed Against Serial Rapist in Richmond”, FOX/KTVU-TV 2, February 17 2009.