Patt Morrison for October 21, 2010

Starting out young in the world’s oldest profession: children prostitutes in L.A.

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Madaree Tohlala/AFP/Getty Images

As the LAPD seek more victims, we take a look at the state of child prostitution in Los Angeles County.

Last month, an LAPD investigation examining whether Los Angeles motels were catering to prostitution, led detectives to the room of a 13-year-old runaway from Hawthorne. The girl said that she and another girl were being held against their will and forced into prostitution by 34-year-old, Leroy Bragg. Bragg has since been charged with multiple felony counts, including human trafficking involving a minor, soliciting for a minor prostitute under 16, pandering by procuring a minor under 16 and first degree burglary. As the LAPD seek more victims in the case, we take a look at the state of child prostitution in Los Angeles County. What portion of the reported 250,000 children that are said to be victims of sexual exploitation each year in the U.S. are here in California and how is the government addressing these cases nation wide? We discuss the misconceptions about how underage sex workers are handled by local authorities and what the city is and isn’t doing for these victims.

Guests:

Kim Agbonkpolor, Program Manager for LA Metro Task Force on Human Trafficking

Keith Haight, retired LAPD vice detective.

Lois Lee, founder of Children of the Night privately funded non profit organization established in 1979 for the rescue of children from child prostitution

Maria, age 15 – former prostitute and current resident at Children of the Night


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