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Councilwoman, city attorney call for crackdown on Valley prostitution

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez and City Atty. Mike Feuer called Monday for a crackdown on prostitution in parts of the San Fernando Valley.

Under a plan Martinez will submit to her council colleagues Friday, the city would add two police patrols, step up enforcement of the people behind the crimes and set up a program to divert prostitutes as young as 12 from a life on the streets.

The added patrols, at a cost of up to $300,000, will target portions of Lankershim and Sepulveda boulevards, Martinez said. The frequency of patrols is still being worked out, said Linda Serrato-Ybarra, a Martinez spokeswoman.

City prosecutors would work with police to impound the cars of customers. In the case of first-time offenders, an eight-hour “john school” would be offered in return for a plea agreement.

Sex for money is not a victimless crime, Martinez said, saying it poses serious quality-of-life problems for nearby residents.

“Families shouldn’t have to see young girls be solicited on their way to the grocery store, or have to step on condoms while they’re strapping their children into their car seats,’’ Martinez said at a press gathering in front of the Rendezvous Motel on Sepulveda.

Streetwalking has long been a problem in the two Valley corridors, but community groups say it’s become more organized, with girls, and sometimes boys, being moved from city to city and even across state lines.

Don Schultz, who’s lived two blocks from Sepulveda Boulevard for nearly 40 years, said he’s seen a big change.

“I’m a walker, and when I go on my morning walks, I’ll see four or five girls just parading around the corner,’’ he said. “It’s not uncommon for me to see traffic tie-ups with the johns trying to pick up the prostitutes.”

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catherine.saillant@latimes.com

 

 

 

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