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Wildomar is a city of about 37,000 residents in Riverside County, California. It was incorporated on July 1, 2008, and through 2021 its population was rapidly growing. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been identified as substantial problems in Wildomar and other communities (e.g., Corona, Hemet, Lake Elsinore, Moreno Valley, Murrieta, Riverside, Temecula) and unincorporated ares of Riverside county. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside Police and federal FBI agents conducted a long-term joint investigation into human trafficking of minors and prostitution. More than one serial killer have specifically targeted prostituted women and girls in the county, and there have been other assaults and homicides of people involved in commercial sex.
In February, 2020 it was announced that a large collaborative law enforcement effort occurred over a four day span in Riverside County to prevent sexual slavery and human trafficking. The operation netted 72 arrests — including multiple arrests in Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Wildomar and other nearby cities and unincorporated areas. The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force led the operation — dubbed Operation Reclaim & Rebuild — that ran January 27-30. The task force targeted people who seek prostituted women online, but it was also part of an annual multi-agency statewide initiative that focuses on rescuing human trafficking victims, arresting their captors and disrupting the demand for victims, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reported. The task force officers placed “decoy” advertisements on websites commonly used by people looking to purchase sex. When a prospective customer replied to an ad and a sex deal was struck, a meeting spot was offered. Once a customer showed up at the agreed upon location, he or she was arrested. Task force officers also targeted online escort advertisements. In those cases, officers would respond to escort ads and agree to sex acts. The escorts — all women in this instance — were then arrested when they showed up at an agreed upon meeting spot. Following booking, all 72 arrestees were released with their written promise to later appear in court. The names of all arrestees were included in news reports. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said in a press release:
“Prostitution is not a ‘victimless’ crime. Ninety-five percent of sex trafficking victims are women or children. Those victimized by commercial sexual exploitation frequently have long histories of emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse or trauma in their backgrounds. Sex trafficking victims are often subjected not only to severe forms of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of their trafficker but are also frequently physically and sexually assaulted by those that solicit them for prostitution.”
- Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force
Web-Based Reverse Stings, Identity Disclosure:
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Nine Indicted on Child Sex Trafficking Charges”, San Diego Union-Tribune, December 15 2009.
- “NAACP Riverside Meeting to Focus on Human Exploitation and Trafficking”, Black Voice News, April 14 2011.
- “Human Trafficking a Problem in Inland Area, Police Say”, Riverside Post-Enterprise, April 25 2011.
- “Two Sentenced in Sex-Trafficking Cases”, San Diego Union-Tribune, November 7 2011.
- “CORONA: Human Trafficking a Reality in Inland Area, Expert Says”, Riverside Post-Enterprise, January 26 2012.
- “Federal Indictments in Riverside/LA Prostitution Ring”, ABC/KABC-TV 7, August 9 2012.
- “Riverside: Underage Girls Rescued in Sex Trafficking Sting”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 29 2013.
- “Moreno Valley Woman Pleads Not Guilty to Prostituting 14-Year-Old Girl”, Southwest Riverside News Network, March 12 2013.
- “Man Charged with 61 Felonies in FB Prostitution Pandering Case,” ABC/KESQ-TV 3, November 19 2015.
- “Valley Children Lead to Sex Trafficking Arrest,” Palm Springs Desert Sun, November 19 2015.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “The Riverside Prostitute Killer”, Crime Library, TruTV.com.
- William Suff, Wikipedia.
- “Serial Killer Brings Urban Realities to Lake Elsinore”, Los Angeles Times, September 30 1991.
- “Killer in Southern California Preys on Prostitute, Addicts”, Albany Herald, October 31 1991.
- “Suspect Reportedly in Jail in Murders of Prostitutes”, Lodi News-Sentinel, January 14 1992.
- “Nice-Guy Neighbor: Could He Really Be a Serial Killer?”, Los Angeles Times, February 17 1992.
- “A Trail of Death: 3 Years After Arrest, Man to Go on Trial in 13 Slayings”, Los Angeles Times, March 26 1995.
- “Californian Is Guilty in Killing of 12 Prostitutes”, New York Times, July 20 1995.
- “Serial Killer Sentenced to Death”, Los Angeles Times, October 27 1995.
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- https://www.modbee.com/news/local/article3094817.html (2007)
- “Internet Replacing Streetwalking for Inland Prostitution”, Riverside Press-Enterprise, January 1 2008.
- “RivCo Supes to Discuss Ways to Thwart Prostitution at Board Meeting”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 28 2013.
- “UPDATE: Supervisor Stone Proposes to Cut Prostitution and Pimping with Tighter Controls on Hotels/Motels”, Temecula Patch, January 29 2013.
- “‘Hospitality Ordinance’ in the Works to Combat Sex Trafficking and Prostitution in RivCo”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 29 2013.
- “Moreno Valley: School Official Accused of Running Prostitution Ring in Court Today”, Southwest Riverside News Network, January 30 2013.
- “Sex-for-Sale Posts Add to Prostitution Problem in Southern California”, NBC/KNBC-TV 4, March 29 2013.
- https://www.northlawgroup.com/what-is-agreeing-to-prostitution-temecula-murrie/ (2019)
- https://patch.com/prostitution-sting-nabs-ex-chief-deputy-sheriff-again (2020)
- https://patch.com/murrieta-residents-arrested-prostitution-sting (2020)