Yuba City, 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

Yuba City is a city in Northern California and the county seat of Sutter County, California. Its population was approximately 70,000 at the 2020 census, and it is the principal city of the Yuba City Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Sutter County and Yuba County. Prostitution, sex trafficking, and the rape and murder of prostituted persons have been well-documented in Yuba City.  For example, in 2016 a Yuba City man who had previously been sentenced to state prison for having sex with a minor was charged with raping a prostituted woman, according to court records. In December 2016, three men were charged with felony human trafficking and kidnapping a woman from Yuba City. The three men had been arrested after the woman called 9-1-1 and said she had been taken from Yuba City to Antioch against her will. The charging documents allege the four kidnapped her with the intent to force her into sex work. Among the serious crimes associated with local commercial sex is the homicide of prostituted women, including one targeted by a serial killer. Joseph Naso was charged with the murders of four women in the 1970s and 1990s, including one in Yuba City.  In his home and in a safety deposit box, investigators found numerous nude photos of women who appeared to be dead or unconscious, and photographs, news clippings and journals related to murdered women who had been engaging in prostitution, whom he was charged with killing. In 1993, the body of Pamela Parsons was found in Yuba City near where Naso was living at the time. She was working as a prostitute in the area at the time and had been strangled. Investigators said they found photos of Parsons and articles about her murder in Naso’s safety deposit box, among other items tying him to her killing.

Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. In August 2016 a reverse sex sting operation resulted in nearly 40 men taken into custody by police for attempted sex acts with a minor. The operation began in February 2016 with a series of fake Facebook profiles and and through Craigslist ads that suggested children were available to purchase for sex. The men who responded engaged in chats and other exchanges they thought were with a 14-year-old girl or a 13-year-old boy. The conversations in the sting operation quickly escalated to sex, and meetings were arranged.  Those appearing and showing intent to follow through were arrested, and the suspects were held at Sutter County Jail on a number of charges. The operation involved the Sutter County District Attorney’s office, West Sacramento Police Department, Yolo District Attorney’s office, Yuba City Police Department, Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, Beale Air Force Base, Yuba County Probation Department, and Sutter County Probation Department.

In March 2018 a reverse sting operation was conducted as part of an effort to combat the ‘demand’ aspect of human trafficking and prostitution, and resulted in the arrest of at least two men, both of Yuba City.  The men were booked in to the Sutter County Jail on charges of prostitution.  The D.A.’s office was assisted by personnel from the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, Yuba City Police along with the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office and Colusa County D.A. The Sutter County District Attorney’s office at the time announced plans to continue these operations in the future in an attempt to reduce the overwhelming demand of Human Trafficking/prostitution in Sutter County and within its communities, such as Yuba City.

Key Partners

  • Yuba City Police Department
  • Sutter County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sutter County D.A.’s Office
  • Colusa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Sutter County District Attorney’s Office
  • West Sacramento Police Department
  • Yolo District Attorney’s Office
  • Beale Air Force Base
  • Yuba County Probation Department
  • Sutter County Probation Department.
State California
Type City
Population 66660
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