Tulare is a city in inland California’s Tulare County, about midway between Bakersfield and Fresno. It has a population of approximately 55,000. The Tulare Police Department has conducted reverse stings in order to address community complaints about prostitution, including stings that specifically target sex buyers.
In July 2007, for example, seven men were arrested after they solicited police decoys during a street-level reversal in the downtown area. The sting followed a similar operation targeting sex sellers. In May 2014, a similar “sweep” was conducted targeting both johns and prostituted women, and netted four sex buyers. Following the 2014 reversal, the identities of all of the arrestees were publicized by local media outlets.
In January 2019 a web-based reverse sting was conducted in Visalia, and was a collaboration with Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, Visalia Police Department, and Madera and Tulare counties sheriff’s departments. Investigators posted adds on well-known escort sites such as “Skip the Games” and “Cityxguide.” An undercover decoy was used, and her photo was posted along with the following message: “I’m HOsting lets play 2night!!!” A suspect reached out to the decoy through a text message and solicited sex in exchange for cash, and agreed to meet at a hotel parking lot in Visalia, where he was arrested.
- Tulare Police Department
Street-Level Reverse Stings, Shaming:
- “Undercover Prostitution Sting Leads to Arrests,” Tulare Advance-Register, October 27 2005.
- “Police Arrest 7 ‘Johns’ in Prostitution Crackdown,” Tulare Advance-Register, July 12 2007.
- “Police Arrest 7 Men in Anti-Prostitution Sweep,” Tulare Advance-Register, July 12 2007.
- “Tulare Prostitution Sting Leads to 8 Arrests,” Visalia Times-Delta, May 10 2014.
Web-Based Reverse Sting, Shaming:
- https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/hormones-got-best-visalia-doctor-who-faces-prostitution-charges (2019)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Motel Owner Pays up to Settle Civil Lawsuit; Three Tulare Government Agencies Will Share $22,500,” Fresno Bee, September 17 1993.
- “Prostitution Sting Nabs Three,” Tulare Advance-Register, December 21 2004.
- “Police Conduct Prostitution Sting in Tulare,” Tulare Advance-Register, October 15 2005.
- “Tulare Police Arrest 10 Women for Suspicion of Prostitution, Drugs,” Tulare Advance-Register, October 15 2005.
- “5 Women Arrested on Suspicion of Prostitution,” Tulare Advance-Register, July 11 2007.
- “Editorial: Prostitution Arrests Appreciated,” Tulare Advance-Register, July 13 2007.
- “Six Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Tulare Advance-Register, August 17 2007.
- “Arrests Made in Prostitution Sting,” Tulare Advance-Register, September 27 2007.
- “Police Make More Arrests in Crackdown,” Tulare Advance-Register, September 28 2007.
- “Arrests Tripled Since 2002,” Tulare Advance-Register, November 17 2007.
- “Prostitution Arrests in Tulare Have Increased,” Tulare Advance-Register, November 17 2007.
- “Program Aims to Fight Crime on Inyo Avenue in Tulare,” Tulare Advance-Register, June 30 2008.
- “Editorial: Inyo Businesses Get Police Help,” Tulare Advance-Register, July 2 2008.
- “Tulare Police Serve Warrant at Downtown Massage Parlor, Make One Arrest,” Tulare Advance-Register, December 1 2011.
- “Police Sting into Prostitution Reports Leads to Six Arrests,” Visalia Times-Delta, April 23 2015.