A 33-year-old man convicted of forcing a 13-year-old into prostitution has been sentenced to a 45-year prison sentence, Long Beach Police officials announced today.
The sentence was handed down Jan. 2 against Ray Rhodes of Los Angeles, according police officials who celebrated the outcome as a victory toward the departments’, “ongoing commitment towards aggressively combating this horrific crime” of human trafficking.
A human trafficking investigation was launched against Rhodes in January of 2011 after the arrest of a 13-year-old girl on prostitution charges. As detectives looked into her story they said learned that Rhodes had forced the child into prostitution in the Long Beach area starting sometime in September of 2010.
An arrest warrant was issued for Rhodes for human trafficking, sexual assault, and pimping and pandering, Long Beach authorities said. He was arrested in San Bernardino County in May of 2011 on unrelated charges, in addition to the outstanding Long Beach warrant, officials said.
On June 27, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge convicted Rhodes on two counts of lewd act with a child, and one count each of: procuring a child for a lewd act, pandering a minor under 16 years of age, and pimping a minor under 16 years of age, according to Long Beach Police officials.
Rhodes was sentenced on Jan. 2 and will not be eligible for parole until the age of 73, investigators said.
Long Beach Police investigators ask anyone who is, or has been a victim of human trafficking is urged to come forward by contacting the Long Beach Police Department’s Vice Investigations Detail at (562) 570-7219. Any victim in need of resources is also encouraged to contact detectives.