4 women rescued after 2 alleged San Jose brothels raided and closed
SAN JOSE, CA. – San Jose police said Thursday that four women were rescued from two separate brothels operating in the city.
Detectives said the women had been forced to perform as sex workers and were now in safe hands. And the alleged masterminds are behind bars.
“I think it’s surprising that people think human trafficking can happen in the 10th largest city in the United States. But it can happen anytime, anywhere,” Steve said. Aponte of the San Jose Police Department.
Investigators said their trafficking task force raided two brothels on Tuesday. One was located in a neighborhood of high-priced townhouses and apartments in the 90 block of Bassett Street in the city’s Ryland Park neighborhood.
“I saw a lot of police cars. I saw a gentleman, they had him arrested here,” neighbor Monica Burrell said. “I’m totally shocked because if you look at this neighborhood you would never expect anything like this here.”
A second brothel was closed in the 500 block of Winterberry Way in West San Jose.
Two men are accused of collaborating in the management of brothels. One of the men was arrested on an unrelated and unexecuted warrant for sex trafficking.
Investigators say complaints from neighbors led to their investigation and subsequent arrests.
“I think this crime has always existed. And thankfully there are more coordinated efforts to identify and combat sex trafficking,” said Perla Flores of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking.
She said the four women rescued from brothels are victims of sex trafficking and will need help for several years to heal.
“Shelter, food. Maybe there is medical attention that is needed. Maybe there are urgent legal issues. emergency,” Flores said.
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Investigators said that although they were able to close two brothels, more could spring up, if there is not a vigilant effort by all stakeholders to eradicate this crime.
“If it’s suspicious and in the neighborhood, we hope people call it,” Aponte said.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office will file formal charges.
Investigators said the capture of two suspected brothel operators could lead to the arrest of suspects in other crimes.
Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station’s South Bay bureau. Follow him on Twitter @JesseKTVU and Instagram @jessegontv