Human Trafficking in the Bay Area

In December 2019, Cassidy Lavorini-Doyle was arrested for allegedly participating in the human trafficking of minors. He has pleaded not guilty despite evidence against him, but there is enough of a case for a complete trial to take place. The investigation started on December 6th when he tried to kidnap a custodian at his office and buy her two young daughters. He was arrested and detained that evening, but upon being let out, he travelled straight to Cambodia to engage in more trafficking of prepubescent girls. This is called sex tourism. Officials found over one hundred child pornography videos and cameras hidden in many everyday objects. 

Furthermore, on March 7th, 2020, eight massage parlors in the East Bay were shut down by Fremont police over suspicions that they were fronts for prostitution. These investigations were triggered by multiple complaints of adult activity at the parlors, and when investigated, officials found evidence of prostitution as well as malpractice that led to them being shut down. 

All of the massage parlors are in Fremont: Amazing Spa and Venus Skin Care Spa on Fremont Boulevard, Lucky Star on Thornton Avenue, Roland Spa on Lake Arrowhead Avenue, Eurasia Day Spa on Stevenson Boulevard, Princess Salon on Peralta Boulevard, Diamond Spa on Grimmer Boulevard, and J&A Spa on Cushing Parkway. Lavorini-Doyle was an oral surgeon who worked in Oakland but also had offices across the bay, including Dublin and Pinole. He was authorized to use anesthesia on his patients. These events have occurred in our city, where we live and where our loved ones, including small children, reside. 

However, while human trafficking is a very prominent issue across the densely populated Bay Area, it is often overlooked due to the higher rates of poverty that are caused by higher costs of living. There is a common misunderstanding that sex trafficking is actually sex work, and that people are doing this voluntarily when it is often the opposite. Because there is a high rate of homelessness in the Bay Area, particularly in the more populated cities, people often turn to other ways to survive and make money. Human trafficking is a business: people are paid for and seen as products. In a place as economically advanced as the Bay, many people choose to see this industry as just that: an industry. With situations like these actively involving people across the Bay Area, especially the youth, you may be wondering what measures you can take to defend yourself. Here are some tips to remember from Youth Village:

  1. Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Be alert to ensure that you’ll know when something is off.
  2. Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, trust yourself and get to safety or away from a suspicious person as soon as possible.
  3. Be ready for anything and act quickly. If you feel you are in danger, find a public place and alert someone else that you may be in danger. 
  4. If you are going out alone, let someone you trust know when you go out, where you’ll be going, and what time you will be back. Occasionally update them so they know whether or not you are safe.
  5. Teach yourself some self defense moves or have some way to protect yourself (e.g. keys, keychain weapons, pepper spray, rape whistles/alarms).

This reporter graduated in 2020.
Senior Nikita Prasad, opinions columnist for the Hatchet, is in her first year of journalism. She grew up in Fremont and is very passionate about her opinions. In her free time, Prasad enjoys cooking and baking. She plans to pursue culinary arts in the future by opening a bakery in Aix-en-Provence, France.

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