Report: Long Beach, South Bay Home To Majority Of SoCal Child Prostitutes

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Los Angeles County is one of the “major hubs for sex trafficking” in the U.S., according to a report released Tuesday.

As many as 84 percent of children arrested for prostitution in Los Angeles County live mostly in Long Beach and the South Bay, according to data from the Probation Department.

“Sadly, this county is recognized as one of the major hubs for sex trafficking in the nation, primarily of girls as young as 11 and 12 years old,” Supervisor Don Knabe said. “Untold numbers of these children fall victim to predatory adults who sexually exploit them for personal gain and often abuse them in unspeakable and brutal ways.”

Knabe thanked Probation Department staffers for their work in helping get a $1 million federal grant to spend on countering sex traffickers.

Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers said the department had identified 175 young girls as victims of sex trafficking over the past two years.

“In a county of 10 million, I can tell you that we’re just scratching the surface,” Powers said. He added that about 50 percent of current Los Angeles County probationers with arrests for prostitution began selling their bodies as juveniles, on average between the ages of 12 and 14.

“We think these numbers are representative of a much larger number of girls forced into prostitution who have not yet been arrested, or are not being determined to be sexual victims in screenings when placed in either foster care or the juvenile justice system,” Knabe said. “It’s the biggest problem we have on this issue — we don’t know what we don’t know.”

The board declared January “National Human Trafficking Awareness Month” and told staffers to track and gather more statistics to develop a strategy for fighting child prostitution. The county also will consider dedicating a unit within the Probation Department to sexually exploited minors.

“These young girls have often suffered in their own homes and then move to a life on the streets where they are further victimized by local pimps and gangs,” Knabe said. “As a grandfather, it is horrifying to think of the lives these young girls face.”

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Linda says:

    Why are the young victims being arrested, they should be gathered up and taken to safe houses. The system needs to go after the pimps and the johns who exploit these young children.

  2. Hardmoney says:

    Postitution…I thought that problem had been solved? Haven’t the athorities been working on this issue since the year one?

  3. Charlie says:

    These Figures are so misleading and it’s probably to fund their own Agenda.

    You have to talk to experienced Prostitutes and they will give you the real Story

    Yea their are underage Prostitutes out there, but only a very few and they are most likely to be pretty grown up

  4. Jesus Diaz - Giz says:

    Likely the names are Maria, Rose, Lora, Amanda, Florencia, Sandra, Rosalinda, Monica, Norma, Gabriela, Francisca, Dolores. What’s new? From prostitution to robbery to spousal abuse to child molester to drug cultivation to drug smuggling to drug tunneling, those beings already dominated the headline news. I am not surprised!

  5. betty littigan says:

    they need 1,000,000 for the police department pockets they know that is time to pay taxis 2011.first they say that the crime is low now the police department want money bunch of crooks.some times the same police attacks young girls, always they only want money bunch of idiots.;

  6. tngilmer says:

    How is that Hope and Change liberalism working out for you, California?

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  8. BIANCA says:

    I SEE A LOT OF YOU ARE NOT INFORMED. I ACTUALLY WORK IN THE JUVENILE HALLS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY AS AN OFFICER AND THESE ARE NOT HISPANIC GIRLS.. 95% OF THE GIRLS THAT COME IN ON THE PC 647 AND PC 653.22 (PROSTITUTION CHARGES) ARE BLACK GIRLS AND THE AVERAGE AGE IS AROUND 13 YRS OLD AND I WILL SAY ABOUT 80% ARE FOSTER CHILDREN WHO RUN FROM PLACEMENTS OR HOMES WHERE THEY ARE BEING SEXUALLY MOLESTED BY THEIR STEP FATHERS ETC.. PLEASE DON’T ASSUME THESE GIRLS WANT TO BE HAVING SEX AND WALKING THE STREETS ALL HOURS OF THE DAY AND NIGHT AND GIVING ALL THEIR MONEY TO A MAN WHO IS 2 AND3 TIMES THEIR AGE.. ALL BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT THESE MEN LOVE THEM.. EVER HEARD OF STOLKHOLM SYNDROME.. A LOT OF THESE GIRLS HAVE THIS. AND NO I DO NOT THINK IT IS RIGHT THEY ARE SEEN AS CRIMINALS, BECAUSE PROSTITUTION MEANS THAT THEY CONSENTED TO SEX FOR MONEY, WHICH A CHILD UNDER 18 CANNOT CONSENT TO SEX BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ADULTS. PLEASE JUST DO YOUR RESEARCH.. THESE ARE VICTIMS AND AT THE FACILITY I WORK AT THAT IS HOW WE VIEW THEM AND TRY TO HELP THEM ESCAPE THAT LIFE, HOWEVER THEIR ARE NO FUNDS TO HELP THESE GIRL WHEN THEY ARE RELEASED WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE STABLE HOMES AND SUPPORT TO GO HOME TO. CHECK OUT THE MOVIE “VERY YOUNG GIRLS” BY RACHEL LLYOD ITS AN EYE OPENER.

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