Tuesday, April 27, 2010
San Diego is an international gateway for child sex trafficking and one of the top cities in the nation for child prostitution. Law enforcement and community leaders are holding a sex trafficking forum Tuesday night in Imperial Beach to educate the community about the growing problem, and to teach parents how to keep their children safe.
Local police say the young victims are typically homeless or runaway girls between the ages of 12-16. Manolo Guillen, coordinator for the San Diego Child Sex Trafficking Task Force, said children are also being recruited from schools, shopping malls and the internet.
Guillen said tougher punishment is needed for predatory "Johns" to lessen the demand for child prostitution.
“We’re looking at the possibility of requiring that Johns be registered as sex offenders," said Guillen. "Why, if these predatory Johns – many of them are paying to have sex with children in San Diego, then why are they not being required to register as sex offenders?”'
The forum will be hosted by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and held at the Boys and Girls Club of Imperial Beach.