Two men and one woman were arrested on this week in a case of alleged kidnapping, false imprisonment and sex trafficking of a 20-year-old south Los Angeles woman.
Monique Butler is accused of recruiting the young L.A. woman — a friend of hers, according to detectives. ABC 6 reported comments from Capt. Merrill Landenheim of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Human Trafficking Bureau, who said that Butler lured her friend with claims that they were off to celebrate Butler’s birthday.
When the young woman met up with Butler, the other two suspects, Chad Phillips Miller and Rico C. Clayton, were allegedly took the alleged victim. Butler and the victim allegedly entered a car with Miller and Clayton, who then allegedly dropped off Butler and assaulted the young woman according to the Orange Country Register.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell told reporters that the young L.A. woman has never been involved in the criminal justice system.
Investigators tracked the victim’s location from Paramount to Oakland. McDonnell said that from there, she was posted on a sexual exploitation website with a nickname according to ABC 7. She was there four days before managing to make a frightened phone call to her mother, which authorities have released. Ladenheim said that the young woman said she was being held against her will and that she was afraid, and pleaded for help.
The 20-year-old was found within hours in a Buena Park hotel room, according to the news report.
The three suspects in the case face charges ranging from pimping to imprisonment by force.
The bust is one of five conducted by a special task force since last November according to ABC. Those operations have resulted in 14 arrests and 60 rescues. Victims have ranged from 14 to 17 years of age.
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