Community Tortured by Prostitutes Soliciting Sex Outside California Catholic Elementary School

Parents and parish school officials in East Oakland, California, are desperate for police assistance as scantily-clad young prostitutes solicit sex along the sidewalk of St. Anthony’s K-8 elementary school.

Videos recorded by ABC7’s “I-Team” show young women, some of whom police say may be victims of trafficking, parading themselves outside the Catholic school off E. 15th Street.

According to the I-Team news report, the Oakland Police Department and the FBI are working together as a result of the investigation, with a focus on the human trafficking issue.

“Some of the actions the Oakland Police Department (OPD) has in place; officers conduct high visibility patrolling; instead of enforcement actions,” OPD said in a statement to ABC7’s I-Team. “The hope is that the increased presence in different areas by these officers deter activity and does not revictimize those who are victims of human trafficking.”

However, in terms of the ongoing loitering to solicit sex, the OPD said a new California bill (SB 357), introduced by LGBTQ activist State Senator Scott Wiener, repealed a law that made loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution illegal.

Wiener wanted to repeal the law because he said it disproportionately targeted biological men claiming to be transgender.

“It allowed police officers to arrest a person, not based on what they did, but based solely on how a person looks,” Wiener said, according to ABC7. “So, an officer could arrest someone because they were wearing tight clothing, high heels, and extra lipstick.”

Upon signing SB 357, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) said, “To be clear, this bill does not legalize prostitution. “It simply revokes provisions of the law that have led to disproportionate harassment of women” and transgender adults, he said, noting that Black and Latino women are particularly affected, CBS News reported in July.

“The bill will bar police in California from arresting anyone for loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution,” the report observed.

Although the governor said he agreed with the intent behind the repeal, he added “we must be cautious about its implementation.”

Newsom said his administration will continue to track crime and prosecution trends “for any possible unintended consequences” and work to correct these.

With SB 357 in effect on January 1, police officers are now prohibited from arresting individuals suspected of soliciting sex.

When ABC7 met with Wiener to show him the videos of the situation outside St. Anthony’s school, the state senator said, “That footage is very troubling. We don’t want sex work and solicitation happening by schools; it’s not acceptable for the children and the neighbors.”

However, Wiener denied his bill is prohibiting police officers from rescuing young women they believe are victims of human trafficking:

That is absolutely dead wrong. SB 357 has been in effect for 30 days; this problem has been around a lot longer. So, I think it’s a copout frankly for the police to say this law which is brand new is preventing them from doing anything.

Wiener told ABC7 “police’s hands are not tied,” and stated “police can and should arrest the pimps and ‘johns.’”

Pointing to the video footage, Wiener reportedly added, “That car could’ve been cited, you can’t stop a car in the middle of the street. If they have cause to think solicitation is happening, they can arrest for solicitation.”

ABC7 noted, however:

The problem officers are faced with is “cause” isn’t justified by being undressed walking around the street, even if it’s right in front of St. Anthony’s – the Patron Saint of lost things, lost causes, lost people. Yet, this community is lost on a solution.

Parent Rosa Vargas told ABC7 at least one woman appearing to be soliciting sex is in front of the school gate every day, “during all periods of the day.”

Vargas added the women last week “were blocking the entrance of the parking structure, where they were having basketball games.”

Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo said the situation has grown so much worse that neighbors call him each week complaining they can’t get into their homes because “the pimp is blocking my driveway.”

Gallo told ABC7 some of the girls he has seen on the street are as young as 15 years old.

Father Ghebriel Woldai, pastor of St. Anthony’s parish, said police presence is “not enough.”

“They promised us they will do more presence here,” he said, adding the increased solicitation and trafficking has led to more shootings between pimps and gang members at all hours of the day.

“If there is a violent shooting, sometimes we experience those kinds, it scares me a lot,” Father Ghebriel said. “We feel powerless … we just pray.”

ABC7 reported that, as a result of the I-Team’s investigation, a meeting with city officials is scheduled to arrange for additional police patrols in the area.

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Susan Berry, PhD is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “State Rep Scott Wiener” by State Rep. Scott Weiner and “Oakland Surveillance Video” is by ABC7 News.




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One Thought to “Community Tortured by Prostitutes Soliciting Sex Outside California Catholic Elementary School”

  1. stuman15

    Next California will allow houses of prostitution to be opened on every street corner. California has gotten completely out of control thanks to the liberal democrats. Will the last person leaving California please turn off the lights.