Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release: August 30, 2013
SANTA ANA – Just over one week to go and the support keeps growing as new sponsors sign on to stand up against human exploitation and trafficking for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) “Keep Calm and Beat H.E.A.T. Rocking & Rally.” The event will be held Sept. 9, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Twila Reid Park, 3100 West Orange Avenue, Anaheim. There will be police patrol cars, informational booths, food trucks, free frozen yogurt, and a rock concert.
United States Attorneys’ Office Support Against H.E.A.T.
“Human trafficking and exploitation is a growing concern in Orange County and throughout Southern California,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “All too often these appalling crimes occur in plain sight, and those of us in law enforcement want to educate the public on the warning signs and signals to look for to help us combat this epidemic. I applaud District Attorney Rackauckas for taking an innovative and collaborative approach towards educating the public and treating the root causes of this serious problem.”
This year, the OCDA will host this first-of-its-kind event along with its co-sponsors to fight against Human Trafficking and Exploitation (H.E.A.T.) as part of a new initiative to go after perpetrators of human trafficking and exploitation with vigor, while taking a comprehensive approach to solve the problem and bring community stakeholders together.
Twila Reid Park was chosen as the location because it is less than a mile from Beach Boulevard and Ball Road in Anaheim, an area known to law enforcement to be a high-prostitution area and frequently used by individuals who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain.
The OCDA announced in April 2013 that it was forming the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, which targets perpetrators who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers. Commercial sex trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise behind narcotics trafficking. Often the perpetrators are gang members and/or career criminals.
The HEAT Unit also targets defendants who create a demand for prostitution by soliciting and purchasing sex, which increases the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. The HEAT Unit uses a tactical plan called PERP: Prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators and sex purchasers; Education for law enforcement to properly handle human trafficking and pandering cases; Resources to raise public awareness and provide assistance to the victims; and Publicity to inform the community about the problem and notify human traffickers and sex purchasers that this crime cannot be perpetrated without suffering severe consequences.
“Keep Calm and Beat H.E.A.T. Rocking & Rally” will raise community awareness through the media campaign for the event.
The OCDA would like to thank the co-sponsors for this event: The City of Anaheim, Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray, California Against Slavery Research and Education, California Victim Compensation Program, Casa Youth Shelter, Community Service Programs Inc. and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, Cottonwood Church, Crittenton Services for Children and Families, Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling Ling Chang, Dream Center, FREE THEM, Get Safe USA, Grandma’s House of Hope, Orange County Supervisors Shawn Nelson and Janet Nguyen, Magnolia Baptist Church, State Board of Equalization Vice Chair Michelle Steel, Mike and Susan Schroeder, United States Attorney André Birotte Jr., Jerry Zomorodian of All American Petroleum Corporation, The Orange County Human Relations Commission, The Pepper Project, Rancho Santa Margarita Councilman Steve Baric, The Rock Church, Saving Innocence, iSanctuary, the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs (AOCDS), The Orange County Sherrif’s Department, and Police Departments in the Cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Irvine, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, and Tustin.
“The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and CSP Victim Assistance Programs are excited to partner with the District Attorney’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit as a co-sponsor for the Rocking & Rally event. We have been involved in combating human trafficking since 2004 and know the tragic impact that trafficking can have on the lives of individuals and families. We also know that through the efforts of OCHTTF and its partner organizations hope can be restored and lives renewed,” said Director of CSP Victim Assistance Programs Ronnetta Johnson. “The Rocking & Rally event will spread the message that Orange County will not tolerate this form of modern day slavery.”
“Human trafficking is a travesty and it is incumbent on all of us to stand together to prevent these crimes from taking place in our communities. The City of Anaheim joins with the District Attorney to cosponsor BEAT the HEAT to raise awareness about the women and children being victimized and enforcement of new state law that will hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes,” stated Anaheim Councilwoman Murray.
“I am proud to stand with the District Attorney and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force to bring attention to the crime that affects the constituents in the First District,” said Orange County Supervisor Nguyen.
“As a former prosecutor, I am honored to join my former boss District Attorney Tony Rackauckas to bring attention to the evils of human exploitation and trafficking. As the attorney representing Orange County’s first post Proposition 35 forced labor victim against the Saudi Princess, I have seen firsthand the vulnerabilities of these victims,” said Councilman Baric.
“I am 100 percent committed to working with the District Attorney to stand against human exploitation and trafficking,” stated Vice Chair Steel. “We must do all we can to make sure children and women, many of them being minorities, are not being exploited and trafficked by career criminals.”
“Human traffickers use the American Dream as a lure to prey on the world’s most vulnerable people. They often cheat and steal from those who are willing to sacrifice their life and life savings for simply a chance to improve their lives. I am proud to support DA Rackauckas’ efforts to BEAT H.E.A.T!” said Councilwoman Chang.
I am proud to support District Attorney Tony Rackauckas as he sets the standard in fighting modern day slavery that is abusing the most vulnerable in our community — young women and children,” commented Mike Schroeder. “This event will warn the perpetrators that they will go to prison for a long time for these crimes and let the victims know they are not alone and Orange County stands with them.”
“I have supported the District Attorney’s efforts for the last five years as he led the Victims’ Right March & Rally. I am proud to support his efforts to bring awareness at the ‘Keep Calm and Beat H.E.A.T. Rocking & Rally’ regarding this terrible crime that hurts our young women and children,” said Mr. Zomorodian.
“California Victim Compensation Program is proud to support the extraordinary efforts of Orange County District Attorney Rackauckas and the HEAT Unit and to be a co-sponsor of Rocking & Rally. CalVCP stands ready to serve with HEAT to promote healing for victims,” said Executive Officer Julie Nauman.
“Human trafficking is one of the world’s fastest-growing criminal enterprises, and it’s happening right here on Orange County’s streets and on the Internet where young women and children are bought and sold. They are abused—sexually, physically, and mentally – and live in constant fear for their lives,” said AOCDS President Tom Dominguez. “We applaud the Orange County District Attorney’s Office for its leadership in fighting for the rights of these women and children and for bringing much needed justice to those who profit from making sexual abuse of the vulnerable possible. These women and children now have a voice – and hope – because of the commitment of your prosecutors and investigators to this very important cause. The men and women of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs are proud to stand with you in standing up for these victims. Please accept this donation to support your ongoing effort.”
“The issue of human trafficking has local and international implications. The Anaheim Police Department and our partners in the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force are committed to identifying and assisting the victims while vigorously seeking to prosecute and incarcerate those who exploit so many,” said Interim Anaheim Chief of Police Raul Quezada.
“As the police chief of Fullerton, I am honored to partner with District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and the Orange County law enforcement community to raise awareness of the growing problem of human exploitation and trafficking. Please join us as we collaborate to bring awareness and resources to help some of the most vulnerable victims in our communities,” said Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes.
“Human trafficking is a criminal enterprise which, sadly, ensnares some of the most vulnerable members of our society. The Santa Ana Police Department remains committed to collaborating with our partners in law enforcement and throughout the community to eliminate the scourge of human trafficking and modern-day slavery,” stated Santa Ana Police Commander Chris Revere.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff