Los Angeles: On August 12, 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department, Operations South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force, in partnership with the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, secured a felony conviction of an investigation into a claim of human trafficking of a minor and an adult victim.
38-year-old Benjamin Pennington, a resident of Los Angeles, California, was convicted of human trafficking of a minor for a commercial sex act, human trafficking and dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime.
The investigation began when the 17-year-old Victim was detained by the Operations South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force. During that investigation, the underage girl revealed to the investigators that Pennington 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. The victims in this case were both from Los Angeles, California, a 17-year-old female and a 23- year-old female.
In addition prior to the defendant 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 and adult and dissuading witnesses from prosecuting a crime. Pennington received 16 years and 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 the LA Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips" under the "Get Involved-Crime Stoppers" menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the "P3 Tips" mobile application and select the LA Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.