Porterville, CA

Tactics Used

Auto Seizure
Buyer Arrests
Community Service
Employment Loss
Identity Disclosure
IT Based Tactics
John School
License Suspension
Neighborhood Action
Public Education
Reverse Stings
SOAP Orders
Web Stings

Porterville is a city of almost 60,000 residents in the San Joaquin Valley, located in Tulare County between Fresno and Bakersfield. It is part of the Visalia-Porterville metropolitan statistical area. Prostitution and sex trafficking, including child sex trafficking, have been well-documented in the city and surrounding areas, resulting in complaints to law enforcement. For example, in May 2013, a man was arrested for “pimping a minor” in Lemoore and Porterville and videotaping several sexual encounters between the minor and other men.

To address consumer-level demand for commercial sex that drives both prostitution and sex trafficking, Porterville police have participated in at least one reverse sting. California holds an annual sting operation spanning three days and involving 93 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and task forces throughout the state. In the operation held in January 2019, the Tulare County Human Trafficking Task Force reported the arrest of five people for prostitution and another five for solicitation in the cities of Visalia, Tulare, and Porterville. In total, 34 adult victims and 14 minor victims of sex trafficking were recovered across the state.

Key Partners

  • Porterville Police Department
  • Tulare County Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Tulare County District Attorney’s Office
  • Visalia Police Department
  • Madera County Sheriff’s Department

Key Sources

Reverse Sting:

Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:

Background on Prostitution in the Area:

State California
Type City
Population 59056
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