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Pimping suspect arrested; missing teen found

October 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A missing 14-year-old girl has been found, but L.A. police suspect her disappearance may be linked to a man suspected of abducting young teenage girls and forcing them into lives of prostitution. The details of the case are still unclear but the good news is that a 14-year-old girl believed to have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution is safe Friday afternoon.

Because she's believed to have been a victim of sexual assault her identity was not released. The young kidnapping victim is safe in LAPD headquarters waiting to be reunited with her family.

Her father told Eyewitness News his daughter called him Friday afternoon to say she was riding on a city bus using a passenger's cell phone, and that she had been kidnapped, assaulted and locked up for three days by Leroy Bragg.

Bragg, 34, was arrested by authorities Tuesday in connection to the kidnapping of another victim, a 13-year-old girl who was also found.

Bragg is charged with human trafficking, burglary and pimping.

An investigator close to the case who didn't want to be identified said Bragg may have other victims.

"This is pretty typical in these situations," said the investigator. "There's both the actual physical beatings to cause submission to get young girls to obey, but there's also the threats of violence against the females and the family of the females, often in these situations, to keep them within his control. We think as this investigation unfolds additional victims will be added, but as I said that's kind of preliminary at this point."

Bragg pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court Thursday in connection to charges connected to the 13-year-old victim.

LAPD detectives are now questioning the latest victim, the 14-year-old, trying to sort out exactly what happened, but her father says his daughter met Bragg a few months ago when she ran away from home.

She was arrested last week and was able to return home, but disappeared again. According to her father she disappeared because Bragg threatened he would rape and kill her mother and sisters if she did not return to work for him.


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