San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon (Jessica Christian/ 2017 S.F. Examiner)

SF district attorney seeks $1.4 million to create human trafficking unit

District Attorney George Gascon is seeking nearly $1.4 million to fund a new unit tasked with tackling human trafficking in a city known for its illicit massage parlors and as a magnet for child sex trafficking.

An April report from the Department on the Status of Women identified 529 human trafficking survivors in San Francisco in 2016. But, Gascon said at a Board of Supervisors committee hearing on Thursday that prosecutors filed charges in just six of the 10 cases presented to his office that year.

“Every year we keep hear people talking about human trafficking,” Gascon said. “But then we go and continue to do business the same way, and then we wonder why we continue to be one of the major focal points of human trafficking in the country, and yet we’re not addressing this problem the way we should be.”

Gascon’s budget request would fund 10 positions including a head attorney, three prosecutors and two investigators to pursue convictions against traffickers.

In 2016, a San Francisco judge sentenced Jamar Geeter to 97 years in prison after the District Attorney’s Office successfully tried him on pimping and sex trafficking charges in connection with two teen girls.

“If we’re really serious about dealing with human trafficking, then we have to put our money where our mouth is,” Gascon said. “It is a major problem, and it is a major problem that we are not addressing and I think it’s unconscionable.”

In the April report, the Department on the Status of Women recommended the District Attorney’s Office create a human trafficking unit. Such cases are currently being handled through the General Crimes Unit.

Gascon is also seeking $1.09 million in funding for a seven-member unit dedicated to fighting car break-ins in San Francisco. The unit would focus on tracking serial auto burglars.

Mayor Mark Farrell will decide on the budget requests in his June proposal.


Read more criminal justice news on the Crime Ink page in print. Follow us on Twitter: @sfcrimeinkCrime

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

SFMTA Board passes ‘clean’ sales tax ballot measure to fund Caltrain

After a weeks-long impasse, tri-county leadership appears to have reached a compromise

Struggling Chinatown restaurants get help moving business outdoors

A total of $25,000 will be distributed to assist with costs of Shared Spaces program

Nomination delays, vacancies impair SFMTA board’s ability to vote

Supervisors to consider mayor’s nominees on Aug. 10

District 7 race leads supervisor contests in campaign contributions

The race to replace outgoing Board of Supervisors President Norman Yee has… Continue reading

Jones Street getting more pedestrian space after months of community pressure

Pedestrians on Jones Street will have more room to walk as early… Continue reading

Most Read