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.”