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Five suspects held for allegedly forcing teens into prostitution

August 31, 2013|By Carla Rivera

Five suspects have been arrested on suspicion of holding two runaway girls against their will and forcing them into prostitution, authorities said Saturday.

Four men and one woman face possible charges of conspiracy to commit human trafficking, false imprisonment and sex crimes against children. Their names were not released because the investigation in ongoing, said Sgt. Michael Modica of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The 15-year-old victims, one from Missouri and the other from Louisiana, were taken into protective custody Friday pending notification of their parents, Modica said. Both girls were cooperating with the investigation.

One of the girls was found in a motel in Artesia and the other at a residence in South Los Angeles, Modica said. They were taken to a local hospital for examination and were found to be in good health.

How long the girls had been in Los Angeles and their relationship to the suspects are still under investigation, officials said.

Four of the suspects are residents of South Los Angeles and one lives in Long Beach. They were booked into the Century Regional Detention Center and each was being held on more than $300,000 bail.

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carla.rivera@latimes.com

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