(Attorney General Xavier Becerra announces arrests in L.A. Photo by Eric Leonard.)
The California Attorney General's Office said Thursday it had filed dozens of charges against three people suspected of forcing teenage girls into prostitution -- and using the proceeds to trade in stolen luxury cars.
"We filed charges against three individuals for 54 crimes related to sex trafficking and identity theft," Becerra told reporters in Downtown L.A.
A criminal complaint alleges Quinton Brown, Gerald Turner, and Mia McNeil victimized eight teenage girls and several young adult women by forcing them to perform sex acts for money.
The customers were most often found online, and detectives said the men who paid for some of the dates likely knew they were arranging sex with minors.
"These people are not the traditional 'johns,'" said L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell.
"These are predators, these are child molesters, these are people taking advantage of the most vulnerable people in our society," he said, and added that many children rescued from sex traffickers were once in the foster care system.