|For Immediate Release
Case # 13NM09214 October 4, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
SEX PURCHASER CONVICTED FOR SOLICITING SEX FROM WOMAN WHOM HE BELIEVED TO BE PROSTITUTE
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted and sentenced today for soliciting sex from a woman whom he believed to be a prostitute. Joel Swank, 25, Westminster, pleaded guilty today to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution. Swank was sentenced to three years of informal probation, 10 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on July 31, 2013, Swank drove to Beach Boulevard in Buena Park to meet with a female undercover officer, whom he believed was a prostitute, after responding to an advertisement placed on a website known for prostitution. Swank agreed to purchase sex services from the officer and drove to a nearby motel. Buena Park Police Department (BPPD) arrested Swank when he arrived at the location. Swank was arrested as part of a covert operation by BPPD.
The area of Beach Boulevard in Buena Park is known to law enforcement to be a high-prostitution area and is known to frequently be used by individuals who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers.
This case was prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Human Exploitation And Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, which targets perpetrators who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers. Commercial sex trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise behind narcotics trafficking. Often the perpetrators are gang members and/or career criminals.
The HEAT Unit also targets defendants who create a demand for prostitution by soliciting and purchasing sex, which increases the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. The HEAT Unit uses a tactical plan called PERP: Prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators and sex purchasers; Education for law enforcement to properly handle human trafficking and pandering cases; Resources to raise public awareness and provide assistance to the victims; and Publicity to inform the community about the problem and notify human traffickers and sex purchasers that this crime cannot be perpetrated without suffering severe consequences.
The OCDA announced in April 2013 that he will publicize the names of defendants convicted of sexually exploiting women or children by soliciting sex acts as part of the campaign to reduce the demand for human exploitation and trafficking.
This case was investigated by BPPD and Deputy District Attorney Michael Bardeen of the HEAT Unit prosecute