ONTARIO, Calif. (VVNG.com) — Investigators from the San Bernardino Human Trafficking Task Force rescued a 14-year-old missing girl who was being advertised online for prostitution and arrested Deshawn Peterson, a 21-year-old resident of Lancaster, Ca.
Investigators began the investigation on August 20, 2020, after locating an on-line advertisement depicting a possible juvenile female, being advertised for prostitution, and initiated an undercover operation to locate and contact the victim, stated officials.
During the investigation, Task Force members were able to establish the victim’s location at a motel room near the 1800 Block of G St. in Ontario.
According to a sheriff’s news release, “Surveillance was conducted at the location and a female fitting the description of the victim was seen. Believing she was the victim, investigators initiated contact and positively identified her as the 14-year old victim. Just prior to contacting the victim, she was seen in the presence of a lone male, near a vehicle in the parking lot of the location.”
Believing the male identified as Deshawn Peterson may be involved in exploiting the victim, investigators and uniformed Ontario Police Officers, detained and questioned him.
“During contact with Peterson, investigators learned he was familiar with the victim and had been in her company for the past several days,” stated the news release. “He and the victim were transported to the Ontario Police Department for additional interview.”
During their interview with the victim, investigators discovered she was a listed missing/runaway juvenile from the Los Angeles area. The 14-year-old female victim was rescued, provided access to services and support organizations, and then safely released to Los Angeles social services.
During the interview with Peterson, investigators discovered information supporting his involvement in the commercialized sexual exploitation of the juvenile victim. He was taken into custody and booked at West Valley Detention Center for Felony Human Trafficking of a Minor. He is currently being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Additionally, investigators discovered that Peterson is currently on active felony probation out of Los Angeles county, for charges related to narcotics offenses.
Investigators believe there are other unidentified victims related to this case and are asking that anyone with information related to this investigation, please contact the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force at (909)387-8400.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME or you may leave information on the WE-Tip Hotline at www.wetip.com.
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