LA County sheriff's deputies won't arrest child prostitutes

AP News
Posted: Oct 21, 2015 8:58 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The sheriff of Los Angeles County says deputies will no longer arrest children for prostitution because they are victims, not criminals.

The Los Angeles Times ( ) says Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced Wednesday that the department will immediately stop such arrests.

In a letter to employees, McDonnell said children cannot consent to sex under any circumstance and should be considered rape victims.

McDonnell says he has told employees to stop using the term child prostitute for young sex trafficking victims. That's in line with a motion passed a day earlier by county supervisors.

The Los Angeles Daily News ( ) says Compton, Long Beach and the Los Angeles Police Department also are following a protocol that aims to provide medical screening and other care to such children instead of locking them up.