Friday, May 3, 2013
Human Trafficking Conviction NR13148neLos Angeles: On April 30, 2013, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Human Trafficking Unit, in partnership with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, concluded by way of felony conviction an 18 month investigation into a claim of human trafficking of a minor.
The defendant in this matter, Charles Bland, 26 years of age, of Lancaster, California, was convicted of Sexual Assault and Pimping of a Minor under the age of 15. The survivor in this case is a 14-year-old female from Riverside, California.
The investigation began when the 14 year-old survivor reported the sexual assault and abuse of her trafficker to the LAPD. Detectives from North Hollywood Division contacted investigators from the LAPD Human Trafficking Unit for a more thorough interview and investigation.
The investigation revealed that during the month of September 2011, Bland, using various social media sites, recruited the survivor, while she was still in Riverside, to meet him in the San Fernando Valley. Once Bland met with her, he took her to his home in Lancaster. Over a period of three weeks, Bland, on multiple occasions, sexually assaulted the survivor. He then forced the young survivor to work for him as a prostitute, from Pomona to Los Angeles, to the San Fernando Valley.
On one specific occasion, when Bland believed that the survivor did not earn enough money for him as a prostitute, he stripped the survivor naked and proceeded to beat her with a leather belt and its belt buckle. Shortly thereafter, the survivor fled in search of the police. After three weeks, the young survivor was able to escape from Bland and report him to the proper authorities.
Bland, a self-admitted gang member has pled guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court to Pimping of a Minor and Lifetime Registration as a Sexual Offender. He received a six year sentence for his crime.
Anyone with further information regarding this matter is asked to contact the ILTF Hotline at 800-655-4095, or LAPD Detective Support and Vice Division Human Trafficking Unit at 213-486-0910. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (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 LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.