Riverside County: Ordinance could ban hourly hotel rentals

Human trafficking typically forces victims into the sex trade or manual labor. The United Nations estimates human trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year industry that enslaves as many as 27 million people around the world at any given time.

Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone.

Hotels, motels and similar establishments in unincorporated parts of Riverside County would not be able to rent rooms by the hour, or more than once per night, as officials consider ways to fight human trafficking and prostitution.

County Supervisor Jeff Stone wants county lawyers to explore the possibility of drafting a “hospitality ordinance” for consideration by the Board of Supervisors at a later date. Supervisors could discuss Stone’s idea at the board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

In a report to his colleagues, Stone suggested the ordinance ban hourly room rentals and restrict room rentals to once per night. Hotels, motels, boarding rooms and the like would be barred from knowingly renting to prostitutes or their clients under Stone’s plan.

In an email, Stone said the ordinance is a new beginning “of a ‘war on prostitution and the on-going heinous human trafficking’ pervasively going on in our County, and in my specific case, in the third district,” which Stone represents.

The 3{+r}{+d} District includes Temecula, Murrieta, Hemet and San Jacinto.

“We have motel and hotel owners that knowingly aid and abet, for money, the utilization of their facilities to allow these terrible crimes to promulgate and proliferate,” Stone said. The ordinance represents the start of “a severe crackdown on these human crimes and will send a message to business owners, prostitutes, and Johns, that Riverside County will not turn a blind eye to these crimes,” he added.


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