Councilman Randall Stone pushing local, state efforts to stop sex trafficking in Chico.
“These pimps are holding people against their will by taking their identification documents and threatening their families and children,” he said during a recent interview. “They force them into sexual slavery. This occurs in Chico and all up and down the West Coast along our interstate highway networks.”
Using laws in Redding and San Francisco as examples, Stone has drafted a city ordinance intended to crack down on parlors complicit in human trafficking. He introduced it during the City Council’s meeting on April 19, and the panel voted 7-0 to send it to the Internal Affairs Committee. It’s currently being reviewed by City Attorney Vince Ewing and likely will come before the council for discussion and possible adoption within the next couple of months.
Stone’s proposed ordinance would require workers in massage parlors to undergo basic background checks and fingerprinting. “At least we’d know if somebody is looking for them in other parts of the country,” he said. There would be a code enforcement element, as well.
“It would be code enforcement officers rather than police—it’s much cheaper to go that route—and they’d make sure the facilities are being used for massage rather than prostitution,” he said.