A kidnapping arrest in Los Angeles may have nabbed a pimp responsible for selling dozens of young girls into the commercial sex industry. Leo Braggs was arrested for kidnapping, raping and forcing at least two teen girls into prostitution, but police suspect he has sold even more. One of the rescued victims' fathers is making a plea for more information about the other girls, so they too can escape the nightmare his daughter suffered. One 14-year-old girl, whose name is being withheld from the media because she is a minor and a believed victim of sexual assault, said she was riding a city bus by herself when she was kidnapped by pimp Leo Braggs. He locked her up for several days and sexually assaulted her, preparing to force her into prostitution. However before he got that chance, police arrested him in connection with another kidnapping of a 13-year-old girl. Police had long suspected Bragg of kidnapping young teens and forcing them into prostitution.
In the short time Braggs had the 14-year-old girl under his control, he fed her large amounts of ecstasy and GHB, until she became addicted. He also tattooed his street name "The Snipe King" across her breast, with the phrase "King Snipe's Bitch." The victim said there were other girls and women in the apartment where she was held, some of them around her age. They were forced to return to the apartment with a certain amount of money each night, and if they failed, Braggs would beat them.
Braggs is currently being investigated for trafficking possibly dozens of minors into prostitution in the Los Angeles area, in addition to the 13 and 14-year-old girls he is accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting. One victim's father is asking anyone with information about Braggs to come forward, in case he victimized other girls. Police think there may be dozens of girls who Braggs has used and disposed of, whom they hope will step forward.
However, even if all the teen victims of Braggs and other pimps who specialize in very young girls were to be identified, there are very few places in the U.S. for them to get help. In all of California, for example, there are only a handful of shelter beds for trafficked American teens. The victims of one pimp could easily fill those that are open. In order to really end child sex trafficking and help girls like the two in this story, we need more services for child sex trafficking victims in America. You can ask your representative to fund critical services for victims of human trafficking here in the U.S. And together, we can make sure the child victims of pimps have a safe place to get the help they need.