Sex Trafficking Sweep in Hemet Lands Five Women Fines

A total of five young women in Hemet were cited for loitering and prostitution during a six-hour nighttime sweep, a sheriff's sergeant said Wednesday.

Deputies and Hemet police officers targeted females suspected of soliciting along Florida Avenue. The six-hour-long Tuesday night operation was aimed at disrupting sex trafficking involving juveniles, Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. John Sawyer said.

The women, who initially appeared underage but were determined to be adults, were offered temporary shelter and counseling in an effort to deter them from a life of sexual exploitation, Sawyer said. Their names were withheld.

"Four of the five subjects were ultimately issued citations for loitering and prostitution charges," Sawyer said.  "The fifth subject was determined to be a victim from out of state unwillingly procured into prostitution."

The investigation into how they were lured into prostitution was continuing, he said.

The operation was carried out by the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, which was formed in 2010 "...to address all forms of human trafficking occurring within Riverside County."

– City News Service contributed to this report.


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