LA city attorney targets sex trafficking along Figueroa Corridor, announces lawsuit against motel

Wednesday, September 13, 2023
LA city attorney targets sex trafficking along Figueroa Corridor
A lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles city attorney's office targets a motel located along the notorious Figueroa Corridor, with a message that resonates throughout the troubled area.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles city attorney's office targets a motel near the intersection of Gage Avenue and Figueroa Street in South L.A., with a message that travels throughout the troubled area.

"The Figueroa Corridor, also known as 'the track,' is probably the most notorious human trafficking, sex trafficking corridor in the United States," said Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto.

Feldstein Soto said the New Gage motel is one piece of the puzzle, one that her office has unsuccessfully tried to get into compliance.

A partnership with the US Attorney's Office suggests the alleged crimes can rise to felonies.

"You can expect a number of charges to come out of this operation for a long time," said Felstein Soto.

According to Los Angeles Police Department data, reported sex and human trafficking crimes in that area started climbing a decade ago, peaked in 2020, and during the last 12 months have decreased to levels similar to 2016.

Reported violent crimes also peaked in 2020, and remain elevated from previous years.

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Feldstein Soto said the city's New Gage Motel investigations have led to more than a dozen prostitution-related arrest, including one involving a minor. It's a problem along the entire corridor.

"I am told the average age of a minor is 12," said Felstein Soto. "'Average' means there are some that are younger."

The city is targeting the companies to -- in their words-- eradicate the violent and trafficking crimes.

"This isn't aimed at sex workers. This isn't aimed at victims of human trafficking or sex trafficking. This is aimed at disrupting the demand for trafficked sex," said Feldstein Soto. "This is aimed at getting at the apex predators."

ABC7's attempts to contact the company that operates the New Gage Motel were unsuccessful.