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Union City is a city of approximately 70,000 residents, located on the eastern coast of the San Francisco Bay near Hayward and Fremont in Alameda County, California. Like its neighbors, the city has reported problems with prostitution in certain neighborhoods and within “adult-oriented businesses.” In April 2013, the Union City Police Department and Alameda County Vice Enforcement Team conducted a web sting to arrest both male sex buyers and prostituted women. Officers responded to listings soliciting sex on an undisclosed website, and arranged to meet the buyers and those they exploit at a local hotel. When an explicit offer or request for commercial sex was made, the individual was arrested. As a result, 14 men and women were arrested and charged with misdemeanor prostitution or solicitation. It is unclear how many of those arrested were sex buyers. When asked what inspired the operation, the Union City Police Department stated that it originally wished to identify and recover sexually exploited juveniles and arrest the pimps and buyers who exploit them. No minors were recovered in the sting, however.
In November 2017, Union City Police and the Alameda County Vice Enforcement Team conducted an undercover prostitution operation at a Union City hotel, resulting in the arrest of 15 male sex buyers. The men responded to an online ad and allegedly agreed to pay money in exchange for a sex act with an undercover agent. The Hayward Police Department, Piedmont Police Department and the Alameda County Probation Department were also involved in the operation. The names and mug shots of the arrestees were released to news outlets.
- Union City Police Department
- Alameda County Vice Enforcement Team
Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
- “14 Arrested in Union City Prostitution Sting”, Milpitas Patch, April 1 2013.
- “Union City: Woman Jumps Out of Hotel Window, Tips Off Others During Undercover Prostitution Bust”, San Jose Mercury News, April 1 2013.
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Union City Man Charged in Molestation of Model”, San Jose Mercury News, September 14 1989.
- “Prostitution Ring Suspect Gets 8 Years”, Tri-Valley Herald, June 16 2007.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Zoning in on a Trouble Spot; Planning Laws Would Alter Decoto District”, San Jose Mercury News, May 13 1990.
- “Police Step Up Pressure on Massage Parlors”, San Jose Mercury News, November 24 1993.
- “Union City Park ‘Out of Control”, Hayward Daily Review, April 7 2004.
- “Arizona Teen Contacts Friend, Shows Up Safe in Union City”, Oakland Tribune, August 19 2005.