Two men were in custody Wednesday on suspicion of sex trafficking two teenage girls, age 15 and 16, who were listed as missing persons from Long Beach and Los Angeles, respectively.
The Long Beach Police Department initiated a missing person’s investigation on Feb. 20 and determined that the case involved the prostitution of a minor, according to police.
Detectives met with the minor, who was allegedly being trafficked in Montclair, and rescued her on March 10, police reported.
“Over the course of the investigation, detectives learned the victim was forced to perform prostitution acts for two different sex traffickers,” identified as 27-year-old Marcus Jones of Los Angeles and 23-year-old Semaj Kelly of San Bernardino, police said.
An arrest warrant was issued Sept. 16 for Kelly, and he was arrested on Friday, police said. He was booked for one count of human trafficking a victim under 18 and is being held on $175,000 bail, police said. He is scheduled to appear in court, at 210 W. Temple St., on Oct. 2, according to sheriff’s department records.
An arrest warrant was also issued for Jones, who was in federal custody on an unrelated drug charge, police said. A court date was not available.
A second juvenile victim of Jones was rescued by detectives on March 13, according to police.
“The victims who were identified by detectives were provided with victim-centered services through the Los Angeles County First Responder Protocol for Sexually Assaulted Children,” police said.
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