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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Six minor sex trafficking victims freed in California

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) released the results of a week-long statewide campaign to combat human trafficking on Wednesday.

The operation, Recover and Rebuild, involved more than 100 state and federal law enforcement agencies, and focused on “rescuing victims of commercial sexual abuse and apprehension of their exploiters,” according to the statement.

“The victims rescued during this operation range in age from 13 to 52, six of whom are minors,” said LAPD Chief Michelle Moore. The average age of the victims is about 25 years.

A total of 131 victims were rescued throughout California. “We know that human trafficking is a form of traffic that is rampant across the state and across the country, and it is a wound on our country,” Moore said.

After paying the ransom, “one of the victims told officers the dealer was taking all the money after working the streets every day as a sex worker,” said LAPD Detective Chief Chris Pitcher.

“Officers were able to help reunite the victim with her 10-year-old son in the state of Texas, in addition to helping her offer her services,” Pitcher said.

“Researchers and victim advocates have been diligent in offering services and resources to help them escape this life-threatening environment,” Moore said.

All child victims were placed under the assistance of the Department of Children and Family Services and victim advocate partners.

The detectives “responded to advertising and marketing of human trafficking and were visiting those locations, as well as other” locations of sex buyers, Moore said.

The mission focused on “city areas such as major streets and boulevards, motels, gang and drug activity” where prostitution activities take place, Moore said.

The operation resulted in 116 arrests by the LAPD and a total of 368 arrests by all participating agencies.

Since 2014, the LAPD has partnered with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) on the Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, Pitcher pointed out.

World Nation News Desk
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