CALIFORNIA – Sepúlveda and Lankershim boulevards continue as the two largest corridors of human trafficking and prostitution in the San Fernando Valley.
The Human Trafficking Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) managed to rescue twelve women, ten of them minors, one only 14 years of age, during 2017.
During a press conference regarding the corner of Sepulveda and Vose Street, in front of one of the hotels where prostitution is practices, Councilwoman Nury Martinez, Deputy Head of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) John Sherman and the attorney from the city of Los Angeles, Mike Feuer announced the results of the operations against human trafficking in the San Fernando Valley, specifically in the corridors of Sepúlveda and Lankershim during 2017.
Since its formation in 2015, the Human Trafficking Command centre of the Buró del Valle has arrested multiple white traffickers and individuals who hire women and girls on the streets or online.
“We see that there are many girls who are forced into this kind of work. They think they have no other alternative. But we have places where these girls can be helped and to have another kind of life, “said Commandant Jorge Rodríguez of the LAPD.
During 2017, nine people related to human trafficking were arrested; 25 pimps; and 755 clients.
In addition, 59 vehicles were confiscated; and 4402 traffic tickets were imposed.
“Human traffickers rent motel rooms in this area to be used for prostitution. They send their girls to look for customers on the street and they meet them in the hotel room to carry out the business, “said Lt. Marc Evans, vice coordinator of the Human Trafficking Unit. Behind him, he pointed to one of the motels most used by pimps.
“Most of the hotels and motels in this area are involved in different levels of prostitution,” he said.
“Many of their owners have been given warnings, training, counseling; and they have been required to comply with certain rules such as more lighting at night, security guards. We hope that they comply so that they avoid being sued by the City, “said Lieutenant Evans.
Prostitution in the San Fernando Valley has been a big problem for decades, said Councilwoman Nury Martinez, who grew up and lives in the area.
“We are talking about a multi-million dollar industry that increasingly employs underage women,” he said.