The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force arrested two women accused of prostitution and maintaining a brothel in Palm Springs.
Si Liang, 57, and Ying Zhou, 57, both from Desert Hot Springs, were arrested Wednesday afternoon at the 400 block of S. El Cielo Drive in Palm Springs.
RCAHT did not identify any victims of sex trafficking during their investigation.
Liang and Zhou were transported to the Riverside County Jail in Banning. Both were released from custody on Thursday and are expected to appear in court on September 2.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force is asking anyone with additional information to contact RCAHT Task Force Deputy Raul Baron at (760) 836-1600 or call anonymously at (760) 341-STOP (7867) and reference incident # R20 099 0006.
“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. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates 1 in 6 endangered runaways reported are likely victims of sex trafficking. 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.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force seeks to disrupt and dismantle sex trafficking rings operating within Riverside County and will aggressively identify, pursue, and apprehend those who seek to exploit those who are most vulnerable. Through proactive enforcement operations, RCAHT works to reduce future demand for sex trafficking by identifying and arresting sex buyers.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force was formed in 2010 to address crimes involving the exploitation of victims via force, fraud, or coercion. These cases often involve the commercial sex trafficking of children, as well as incidents of forced labor, indentured servitude, debt bondage, or slavery. The RCAHT Task Force is a multidisciplinary task force that combines the investigative resources of both local and federal law enforcement. The RCAHT Task Force also provides victim services and education/outreach through partnerships with the non-profit groups Operation Safe House, Rebirth Homes, and Million Kids. The law enforcement component of RCAHT is currently composed of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations, Homeland Security Investigations, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Riverside County Probation Department, along with part-time participation of the Hemet Police Department, Riverside Police Department, and Desert Hot Springs Police Department.“
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