Thursday, February 12, 2009
Five people have been convicted of forcing Guatemalan women and girls into prostitution in Los Angeles
The defendants, including 4 Guatemalans and 1 Mexican, were found guilty in U.S. District Court of conspiracy and sex trafficking. Prosecutors say the five targeted young, uneducated, poor women with promises of good jobs in the United States. During the six-week trial, all but one of the 10 victims testified that they didn't know they were being smuggled across the border to work as prostitutes around MacArthur Park. Prosecutors say the defendants lied and threatened the women with rape, beatings, witchcraft and violence against their families in Guatemala.