Madera Police say prostitution is on the rise and they’re cracking down. In the last week, three men have been arrested in downtown Madera for pimping. People who work in the area say the alleged prostitution is bad for business.
Travean Kabar Martinez, Rudy Lopez and Timmon Crenshaw have all been arrested by police in the last week for pimping in other sex trafficking charges. Diana Doubtz works downtown and says she sees prostitutes walk the streets more and more.
“Every weekend from Friday to Sunday,” said Doubtz.
Eddie Block is apart of the Downtown Business Watch Program. He shared pictures of women in the area he says are victims of human trafficking.
“But when I was calling it in to the police department, one of the ladies actually propositioned me while I was on the phone with dispatch. And the dispatcher just said ‘did I just hear what I really think I heard?,'” said Block.
Police say Lopez and Crenshaw were pimping women in the area of 6th and B streets. Just a block away from a couple bars in Downtown Madera.
In April, the US Senate passed the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. Police say a crackdown on sites selling sex work is causing the online market to disappear.
“And with those being shut down and being regulated, that we’re seeing more girls and the pimps going to the streets to conduct business rather than doing it online,” said Keiser.
Sergeant Keiser says arresting three men accused of pimping in one week is rare. But Madera Police are being proactive. People in downtown say they hope sex trafficking victims get the help they need.
“They’re beautiful girls. Why mess with that? It’s not worth it. It’s really not,” said Doubtz.