09/19/2012 04:40 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2012

San Francisco Sex Workers: Exploited Boys Disappear From View

This article comes to us courtesy of The Bay Citizen.

By Trey Bundy

From the 1970s through the 1990s, police say, young male hustlers worked street corners and bars in San Francisco's Castro District and along Polk Street, blocks away from City Hall.

But in recent years, that population has largely faded from view - along with the whereabouts of the city's sexually exploited boys.

"When I was first out there, I would see boys standing on the corner, possibly engaged in prostitution," said Sgt. Arlin Vanderbilt, who heads human trafficking investigations for the San Francisco Police Department and used to patrol the Polk Street corridor. "In the last 10 years I haven't seen anything like that."

The San Francisco Police Department, the district attorney's office and the Department of Juvenile Probation say they have not handled cases involving boys trading sex for money or other compensation in years. Social service providers who work with street kids say they rarely identify boys who are victims of sexual exploitation.

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