An ex-con pleaded no contest Friday to sex trafficking charges and was immediately sentenced to nearly 17 years in state prison for pimping a 17-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman in South Los Angeles.
Superior Court Judge Laura Walton also ordered Benjamin Pennington to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Pennington pleaded no contest to one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor for a commercial sex act, human trafficking and dissuading a witness from prosecuting a crime. He also admitted that he had a prior conviction for making criminal threats in 2003.
Between February and December last year, Pennington pimped the 17-year-old girl on the streets of South Los Angeles and advertised the teen for sex services online, according to Deputy District Attorney Craig Rouviere.
Pennington — who was arrested at his probation officer’s office last December — also pimped a 23-year-old woman late last year, according to Rouviere.
While behind bars, Pennington called the woman and demanded that she continue prostituting herself and ordered her not to testify in his criminal case, the prosecutor said.
The teen was apprehended by authorities while working for Pennington, and revealed to police that he was forcing her to be a sex worker, the prosecutor said.
— City News Service