Three Indicted in Alleged Sexual Exploitation Case

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A grand jury indictment has been delivered against three people for allegedly operating a prostitution and sexual exploitation scheme through two businesses, including a talent agency for models, the California Attorney General's Office announced Tuesday.

State prosecutors say hundreds of sexual encounters were set up for money and that models were promised that a film shoot would be secured with an award-winning pornography maker in order to entice them to work with the defendants.

The grand jury indictment charges Karine Michmichian, Dwight Cunningham and Derek Hay with pandering by procuring, conspiracy to commit pimping and conspiracy to commit pandering by procuring.

Michmichian and Cunningham are also charged with pimping and pandering by procuring, while Michmichian is additionally facing three counts of money laundering and Hay is charged with one count of perjury under oath.

Prosecutors allege that the three operated a scheme through a company called The Luxury Companion and a talent agency called LA Direct Models. They say one individual was pressured into participating in adult films to make more money from prostitution through increased exposure and that another was pressured into prostitution by limiting access to work in pornography, according to the Attorney General's Office.

The bulk of the alleged crimes occurred in 2017 and 2018.

The defendants pleaded not guilty Monday and are due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom April 25.

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