SAN RAFAEL — A man suspected of operating a brothel was arrested on Friday by undercover police officers assigned to a special operations unit which focuses on human trafficking crimes.
Officers located a website advertisement that indicated juveniles were involved with a so-called escort service. A “date” was arranged on October 6, and an undercover officer was given an address at an apartment complex located near downtown San Rafael.
When officers arrived at the apartment, a 55-year-old Asian woman who spoke no English answered the door. Investigators determined that she is alone in the U.S. with no family.
It was learned that the woman works as a prostitute and that she’s moved to different locations on a weekly basis—and not allowed to keep any of the money she collects as a prostitute.
The apartment is rented to a local resident, 49-year-old Walter Horat, who was also present when officers arrived there.
Horat admitted that he allows women working as prostitutes to use the apartment, and that he purchases supplies for them to facilitate acts of prostitution, police said.
Officers found evidence of other women possibly working as prostitutes at the same apartment, but there was no indication that any of them are juveniles. Investigators are following up on leads to locate other victims of human trafficking.
Horat was arrested and booked at Marin County Jail on suspicion of keeping a house of prostitution and aiding in prostitution, but he was no longer in custody as of Monday.
Police contacted Community Violence Solutions on behalf of the woman, a social services agency that provides shelter and assistance for victims of human trafficking and sexual violence.