Tulare County investigators 'rescue' two women, arrest four men in prostitution sting

Wednesday, February 13, 2019
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Investigators 'rescue' two women, arrest four men in prostitution sting

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Working with other local law enforcement agencies, The Tulare County Sheriff's Office conducted two undercover prostitution operations last weekend.

In one, detectives made dates with real prostitutes who advertised their services on the dark web.

RELATED: Four Tulare County men arrested in prostitution and pimping sting, including doctor on medical staff of Kaweah Delta

The sheriff's office detained two women.

But both said they wanted to leave the sex trade.

Officials say one of the women was dropped off by her pimp-he was arrested.

In the other operation, undercover investigators set up fake ads on prostitution sites.

They say 40 men responded to the ads, but only three showed up for the services they thought they would be receiving.

"They need to know that these girls might be doing it against their will," said Tulare County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Kennedy. "They don't have the right to say no because they're working for somebody that's making them and forcing them to do this."

Visalia family medicine doctor Christopher Rodarte is one of the three men detectives arrested for soliciting the undercover prostitutes.

He practices at an office in Visalia, but he's also an active member of the Kaweah Delta Medical Center medical staff and has been since 1997.

Kaweah Delta officials say he cares for his patients when they are admitted to the hospital.

In light of his arrest, they say medical staff leadership is following up and monitoring the situation.

"It doesn't matter who you are, if you are engaging in illegal activity, we can't shy away from doing what we're here to do and that's to rescue girls," Sgt. Kennedy said. "And we don't want them to continue on being victimized."

Rodarte, like the other men arrested for soliciting, was cited and released from jail.

He doesn't have a criminal history in Tulare County.

He also doesn't have any negative records relating to his medical license.

The sheriff's office says they will send their paperwork to the district attorney's office by the end of the week.

No charges will be recommended for the two women because they agreed to get help.