Los Angeles County Supervisors Point to the Vile Truth of Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking is big business in Los Angeles County, and underage girls by the hundreds are lured or forced into service. Between 2010 and 2012, according to the county Probation Department, 555 juveniles were arrested for prostitution-related offenses. Authorities believe far, far more are never caught.

In an effort to protect underage girls, county Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe will introduce a motion calling for a crackdown on johns, making solicitation of a minor a felony rather than a misdemeanor, raising the fine from $1,000 to $10,000, seizing property if necessary to pay the fine, and making the names of the johns public.

“This is simply intolerable, and we need to stop calling these girls prostitutes and call it what it is: statutory rape,” Ridley-Thomas told me Friday. The average age of juveniles entering “this horrible life” is 12, he said. “That’s the repugnant, vile truth.”

“It’s modern-day slavery is all it is,” sex trafficking survivor Jessica Midkiff said. “If you want to use the restroom, you have to ask. If you want to eat, you ask, and if you don’t get permission, you just don’t do it. It’s more than physical domination. It’s emotional and mental, and that’s the domination that tends to linger.”

Learn more at Steve Lopez’s Los Angeles Times article: The ‘repugnant, vile truth’ about sex trafficking in L.A. County.

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