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Lennox is a census-designated place of approximately 22,500 residents, in southeastern Los Angeles County, CA, near the cities of Inglewood and Hawthorne. The community has reported chronic problems with prostitution for several decades. At least one serial killer targeting prostituted women has also operated in Lennox.
To address these and other crimes arising from the local sex trade, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department undertook several street-level reverse stings in the late 1980s and early 1990s targeting sex buyers. The operations were often large in scale, at times resulting in the arrest of 50 sex buyers in a single operation. In 2004, media outlets reported that a neighborhood watch group had organized walks along thoroughfares known for commercial sex sales, wherein residents carried signs that said Pimps Go Home and We’re Telling Your Wife.
Disclosing arrested sex buyer identities and loss of employment are also consequenced of buying sex in the city. For example, in 2003, a former Lennox Sheriff’s Station deputy was relieved of duty after he allegedly sexually assaulted a prostituted woman in his patrol car while on duty. According to reports, the investigation was initiated after a connection between an anonymous call to police in 2001 regarding an officer engaging in commercial sex while on duty and a prostituted woman claiming that a deputy from Lennox had attempted to solicit her for sex in 2002. Additionally, a resident had filmed the encounter between the officer and the woman, and identified as themselves as the anonymous caller from 2001. The woman reported to police that the former officer had learned of the videotape, he threatened to harm her if she did not release the tape to the former officer. According to reports, the former officer was relieved from duty as a result of the investigation for “sexual misconduct while on duty.” The former officer’s identity was included in reports from local media outlets.
Street-Level Reverse Stings:
- “Lennox Sweep Results in 36 Arrests on Charges of Soliciting Prostitution”, Torrance Daily Breeze, February 1 1986.
- “Sex Shoppers Get More than the Bargained For”, Torrance Daily Breeze, March 27 1986.
- “Area Briefs: 25 Charged with Soliciting; Plater Gets Jail Term, Fine”, Torrance Daily Breeze, April 24 1986.
- “Area Briefs: Solicitation Sweep Nets 40; Roof Falls under Firefighters; Couple Found Slain in Home”, Torrance Daily Breeze, September 19 1986.
- “Prostitution Clients Sting in Lennox Nets 40 Arrests”, Torrance Daily Breeze, October 26 1989.
- “Young Suspect Avoids Arrest, 48 Cited in Lennox Sex ‘Sting'”, Torrance Daily Breeze, March 11 1990.
- “43 Arrested in Lennox Sting”, Torrance Daily Breeze, August 31 1990.
- “Prostitution Sweep Nets 55 in Lennox Area”, Torrance Daily Breeze, June 15 1990.
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- “Deputy Is Put on Suspension in Sex Inquiry; The 14-Year Veteran Is Alleged to Have Had Sex with a Prostitute While on Duty and Then Seized a Video of the Incident”, Los Angeles Times, June 25 2003.
- “Neighbors Rail against Prostitutes’ Presence”, Torrance Daily Breeze, January 24 2004.
Documented Violence Against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
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