Police rescue 16-year-old in prostitution sting

Police rescue 16-year-old in prostitution sting
February 19, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Human trafficking in San Jose -- it may sound surprising, but it's true. ABC7 News has learned police rescued a 16-year-old girl from life on the streets.

San Jose's Monterey Road corridor is notorious for one thing, people know that's where the prostitutes hang out. That's why San Jose police organized a human trafficking task force last week and went undercover twice.

One of the undercover operations took place in a high-traffic area known for prostitutes. It's around the corner from an elementary school and right in front of a library. One sting busted Johns while the other targeted prostitutes as well.

"We did locate a 16-year-old female who was prostituting and in the interview afterward, she told officers she'd been doing this since she was about 11," said San Jose Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer.

"It breaks your heart because she shouldn't be living like that or nobody should be living like that," said Omar Torres from the Santa Maria Urban Ministry.

Torres wants the trafficking and prostitution to stop. He organized a No More Prostitution march on Sept. 27, 2012 because of what many call an up-tick in activity involving young girls.

Police admit staffing and budget cuts are affecting enforcement. One girl, who did not want to be identified, just wants her neighborhood back.

"They've asked us prices and they approach us as if we were prostitutes also," said the female resident.

Since the stings the prostitutes and Johns have temporarily disappeared.


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