SAN BERNARDINO – Seven names and photos of people convicted in prostitution-related offenses were posted on a website earlier this year, beginning in April and later in June. There have been 20,000 hits on the website, according to reports. Some 60 more names and photos are waiting to be entered onto the site (www.sbcounty.org) in the near future, according to the county’s District Attorney Mike Ramos.
A new program, “Stop-the-John-Project” is aimed at deterring the crimes, mostly to decrease the demand for victims of human trafficking. On Tuesday, the names and photos of seven more convicted of prostitution crimes were posted. They will be removed in one year, according to the D.A.’s office. Those listed on the site – who were convicted between February and July – include residents of Alhambra, Rancho Cucamonga, Rialto and Riverside. Only those convicted of soliciting a prostitute will be posted, said Ramos.
“Our main goal,” he said, “is to hold people responsible and deter others from doing it. We are real careful about people’s rights. We are not going to print anyone is just arrested.”
Other counties, including Orange County and Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay Area, have adopted a similar program. Reported hits are coming from websites where Johns are known to interact with prostitutes. Hopes are that potential crimes can be averted if websites will be posting names and photos.
Police have targeted known prostitution areas throughout the county. With names and photos of people engaging in lewd acts with prostitutes, including solicitation, those convicted will face a public exposure. Other states have used similar tactics, said Ramos, who uses the term human trafficking while referring to prostitution-related activities. Ramos said, “This is sending a message loud and clear. They won’t get away with modern slavery. We will hold you responsible.”
San Bernardino County District Attorney: Stop the John Project