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Girls recruited from schools for prostitution, officials allege

 Federal prosecutors on Thursday accused eight people of recruiting underage girls from Inland Empire schools for prostitution.

“The sex trafficking of women and juveniles is a heinous and disturbing crime,” U.S. Atty. Andre Birotte Jr. said in a statement. “The charges in this case send a powerful message to any and all persons -- including street gang members -- who would engage in such cruel and heartless conduct.”

The defendants included four members of the Rolling 60s Crips gang and three women who also worked as "lead prostitutes," authorities said. Six suspects were arrested Thursday morning and two were already in state custody, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles.

According to investigators, one of the lead prostitutes, 19-year-old Kimberly Alberti of Riverside, recruited minor girls at the school she was attending, telling them they could earn large sums of money by working for her pimp. Girls lured from Inland Empire schools were brought to the Los Angeles area, where they were housed at pimps’ homes or at motels, authorities said.

The suspects allegedly beat the girls, raped them and kept them locked up to coerce them into complying, according to prosecutors. Authorities said seven teenage girls, six of whom were underage, were forced into prostitution.

Indicted were: Su Yan, 30, of Rosemead; Paul Edward Bell, 27, of Lynwood; Gary Rogers, 23, of Moreno Valley; Samuel Rogers, 22, of Moreno Valley; Christopher Weldon, 22, of Compton; Kristy Harrell, 20, of Riverside; Javiya Brooks, 19, of Lynwood; and Alberti.

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-- Victoria Kim

 
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