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Human trafficking charges dropped after witness recants testimony

September 05, 2013|By Richard Windton and Robert J. Lopez

Prosecutors in Riverside County dismissed charges Thursday against five people accused of human trafficking after a key witness recanted previous testimony.

The 18-year-old Compton woman had told law enforcement authorities and testified in a preliminary hearing that she had been kidnapped from the city by the five alleged traffickers, who took her to Moreno Valley to force her into prostitution, authorities said.

But on Thursday, the woman said her decision to leave with the five people was consensual. 

She said she was a prostitute and had told authorities she was kidnapped because "she feared retaliation from her pimp in Los Angeles County," authorities with the district attorney's office said in a statement.

"The decision was made to dismiss all charges," authorities said.

The charges were dismissed against Muhammad Malik, 32; Yahya Malik, 23; Ibrahim Malik, 25; Jerry Landers, 21; and Ana Ceja, 20.


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