Crime & Justice

Los Angeles DA targets gangs sex trafficking young girls

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey speaks during a news conference in this file photo from Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, Lacey said her office is targeting street gangs that are prostituting girls as young as 12 years old.
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey speaks during a news conference in this file photo from Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, Lacey said her office is targeting street gangs that are prostituting girls as young as 12 years old.
Jae C. Hong/AP

The Los Angeles district attorney says her office is targeting street gangs that are prostituting girls as young as 12 years old.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Tuesday that commercial sex trafficking is now the fastest-growing trend amongLos Angeles County gangs.

She says her office has set up a special sex trafficking unit that nearly tripled the number of charges filed last year compared with 2013.

Lacey says her prosecutors won convictions against three members of a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring called the "Compton Division." She says the gang branded the girls with tattoos of the gang's name.

One gang member faces up to 42 years in state prison when sentenced later this week and two others were sentenced to 12 and seven years.