By 1986, with talk of quarantining us on an island, the state was willing to talk to us about a solution for the first time in history. I sat down in 1986 with California’s Attorney General, Edwin Meese, Mayor Tom Bradley, Sheriff Block and Chief Gates to come up with a solution. They were the ones who sold me on all the advantages of what we could accomplish by forming a 12 step program. By 1987, I had put everything together to launch the first hotline for adults to call for help when leaving any part of prostitution, for any reason (we didn’t have the term “sex trafficking even invented back then), and the related 12 step program which allowed us to provide alternatives to incarceration as well as diversion programs for the first time in history.
To date, I’ve answered over 500,000 calls on that hotline. Many of those calls were from juveniles as you know. Juveniles who I’ve always promptly turned over to Lois Lee to handle. I was trained in how to answer this hotline by the domestic violence people, the suicide hotline, the rape crisis hotline, and even the Narcotics Anonymous hotline. So I knew what the laws were regarding when I had to report incidents of child abuse, as well as when a child was in danger of being harmed. In the 32 years now I’ve answered this phone, not one lawsuit by the way, nor has anyone even filed a complaint of a problem connected to our hotline.
In fact, in 1995, we went onto a Sally Show about a mother I had helped to rescue her daughter by suggesting she dress up like a hooker to try and find her when the police refused to provide any help. Using my methods of obtaining intelligence, she found her daughter. She also was able to get the pimp arrested who had murdered two other women. Once the show was taped, producers came down to sign contracts with us to make a movie.That film was “Fighting for my Daughter” with Lindsey Wagner. This was about the 5th movie made about my work by then, on top of the three documentaries I’ve had made about us, and who knows how many talk shows.
While I don’t go out of my way to target juveniles, and I don’t allow them into our 12 step meetings, I do come across situations where children are involved from time to time. Which is why when I was targeted and recruited by a trafficking operation who employed sheriffs, cops, judges, private investigators, 911 operators, guards, etc., and I identified also they were targeting young women for this who were as young as 12 years old, I tried to do something to get those women, and their children help.
The only problem was many of them were being held in private homes, and we couldn’t get at them in the “usual” stings. Like with the mother in Canada, she pretended to be a prostitute until she found her daughter. Once she found her daughter, she was lucky enough to be able to call the local police to go and get her out of the hotel room. HOWEVER, in some cases we’ve found there are some officers on the police force who are actually part of the traffickers. In those situations, we can’t just call the local police. A mistake I made when I went to the Chief of Police for Las Vegas in 2006, Chief Gillespie.
When I turned the file over to him with names, addresses, descriptions of people, explanations of how everything operated, etc., and specifically asked him to help us get at a young 16 year old girl who was being pimped out by a service called “Pretty Maids”, as well as told him about other locations that were full of“minority” women, such as the house with nothing but Hispanic women, and the house full of Asian women – all that happened was every single shred of evidence onto what I’ve provided him was cleaned up down to the bleach on the floors.
Now I had consulted with other police officers about the houses that comprised “Operation Dollhouse” back then. I was brushed off with them saying, “Without probable cause, we can’t get a search warrant”. Only the only clients these houses would admit were men who had flown into the airport speaking Mandarin with tickets showing they had arrived from China. Metro didn’t have any undercover officers, male or female, who spoke Mandarin. So I’ve ALWAYS attempted to work with the authorities the best way that I can all these years.