Big Bear Lake, CA, June 6, 2013 – The Coalition Against Sex Trafficking (C.A.S.T.) will present a public awareness event at the PAC tonight, to inform the public about the sexual exploitation of children occurring in San Bernardino County. The program begins at 6:00 p.m, and since the subject matter is not appropriate for children; child care will be provided by Rainbow Kids.
Sex trafficking occurs when males or females are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade, and it happens at much larger rates than most people realize. Trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues of the overall sex industry, including brothels, strip clubs, escort services and fake massage businesses.
Tonight’s educational program will feature a screening of the documentary Teenage $ex 4 $ale, relevant information from local agencies, an expert panel discussion and speakers that include San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos.
According to Christopher Lee — Public Affairs Officer for the DA’s office and Director of Teenage $ex 4 $ale — since his office announced the formation of the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit in January, they have filed 11 cases against pimps whose victims are between the ages of 14 and 17.
The C.A.S.T. team comprises Bonnie Shaffer, Tanya Perry, E.T. Russell, Karen Mathieu, Heather Obernolte, Liz Harris and Kathi Harper. For more information prior to tonight’s event, call the Breakthrough Task Force at (909) 878-0101 ext. 306.
Information on the National Human Trafficking Resource Center is available at (888) 373-7888 or by logging on to www.polarisproject.org.