San Rafael, CA – June 25, 2012. The San Rafael Police Street Crimes Unit recovered a teenage prostitute and arrested her adult pimp this past weekend during a nationwide crackdown on child prostitution.
SCU detectives were part of a three day operation led by the FBI, known as Operation Cross Country, which is aimed at recovering juvenile victims of prostitution and arresting the pimps who exploit them. Over three days and in five different Bay Area counties, 25 law enforcement agencies conducted operations which resulted in a total of six juveniles recovered and seven pimps arrested.
On Friday night about 6 p.m. officers saw a 16 year-old girl walking back and forth on Medway Road. She was scantily dressed and appeared unfamiliar with the area. When the officers spoke to her she said that a man brought her down from Sacramento to work as a prostitute. She was able to lead detectives to the man, who was arrested in a gas station parking lot as he waited for her to return. Hershel Deontae Spencer, age 21, of Fairfield was booked at Marin County Jail on one felony charge of pandering. He remains in custody, with bail set at $30,000. The girl was taken to Marin County Juvenile Hall.
Sgt. Raul Aguilar leads the Street Crimes Unit and says that unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. “It is a fact that teenage prostitution is alive and well throughout the state of California. We need more operations like this where officers in the Street Crimes Unit and other agencies help identify these children that are being exploited through prostitution. We need to work together to help them out of the street life.”
The FBI reports that nationwide, Operation Cross Country teams rescued 79 child prostitutes and arrested 104 pimping suspects during the three day period.