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News Release

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Media Relations

Felon Sentenced To Prison For Sex Trafficking of a Minor NR16255dm

Los Angeles: On August 12, 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Operations South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force, in partnership with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, concluded an investigation with a felony conviction.

The investigation began when a 17-year-old victim was detained by the Operations South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force. During that investigation, the victim revealed to the investigators that 38-year-old Benjamin Pennington, a resident of Los Angeles, was forcing her to be a sex worker.

Pennington trafficked the minor, and an adult female, along Western Avenue and Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles. Pennington also advertised the minor and adult victim for commercial sex services online. Both the 17-year-old female and 23-year-old female were from Los Angeles.

Prior to the defendant's trial, he ordered his victims not to testify during his criminal case proceeding. Pennington pled guilty, in Los Angeles Superior Court, to Human Trafficking of a Minor, Human Trafficking of an Adult and Dissuading Witnesses from Prosecuting a Crime. Pennington received a 16 year / 8 month sentence for his crime.

Anyone with information in regards to this suspect is asked to call Operations South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force at 213-926-3963. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters "LAPD." Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips."



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