POMONA (CBSLA) – A 17-year-old girl is in protective custody after revealing to Pomona Police officers that she was a victim of human trafficking.
The unidentified minor was approached by officers patrolling the East Holt Corridor in Pomona on Friday after they observed her loitering in the area. She told the officers that she was listed as a missing person and was a victim of human trafficking.
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According to Corporal Angela Torres, officers took notice of the girl loitering and thought that she did not appear as though she belonged in the area.
“When the officers contacted her, they learned she was only 17 years old and listed as a missing person,” Torres said. “The juvenile began crying when she revealed this information and officers assured her she was safe.”
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The teen told police she had been picked up from a friend’s home in another county about a week earlier and taken back and forth between Los Angeles and Pomona, where “she was forced to engage in acts of prostitution with strangers for money. The exploiter collected all of the juvenile’s earnings and forced her to consume narcotics which inhibited her ability to function,” Torres said.
The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services was contacted and the victim was provided with an advocate from the agency and released into their custody.
The investigation is ongoing and police believe there may be other unidentified victims related to the case.
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Anyone with information is asked to contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888 or via text message to 233733.