Orange County is known as a magical land of Disneyland for having fun, frolic and for making merry.
Surprisingly or somewhat unsurprisingly, it is also a big and lucrative market for sex trafficking and prostitution that happens under the garb of family holidays.
Sex trafficking is a low-risk and high-profit business, an estimated $32 billion-a-year global industry. The Facebook and host of new social media sites have made it easier for traffickers to recruit victims and find customers and communicate with them.
An evening walk around Beach Boulevard, and Santa Ana can quickly turn into disturbing, nasty and disgusting with pimps, hookers and scandalously dressed women soliciting and alluring potential customers.
The vast stretch of sleazy motels and cheap hotels are attractive locations for sex trafficking. Year-round pleasant weather and the enormous wealth of Orange County make it a favorable destination for traffickers.
Orange County does not have a typical red light as in Amsterdam or Singapore.
On the surface, nowhere you will find a carnival of pimps, condoms and skimpily clad prostitutes hanging around brothel windows and dark and shady bars.
Activities are more discreet and sophisticated here. Typical brothels run in wealthy suburbs in posh apartments. Variety of adult entertainment services, massage parlors, tanning salons and neon-lighted hotels and motels provide a safe haven for prostitution and sex trafficking.
There is no overt sign of salaciousness and concupiscence anywhere but its all so there. You can see it, and you can feel it, and you can smell it.
Sex trafficking and prostitution is a criminal activity in California. In California, it is a crime to buy or sell sex for money. Prostitution, pimping, and pandering are also considered a crime.
Sex trafficking is not evident and obvious often hidden in plain sight. An alluring street walking prostitute may appear willing and happy at first glance but then who knows that force, fraud or coercion has been used?
There are many points of view when it comes to sex work and prostitution and there is considerable debate on the merits and demerits of legalizing and decriminalizing it.
Are the boundaries between freely chosen sex work and the trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation clear and not fuzzy?
It is quite a complex and multi-faceted problem with no simple answer!