Friday, December 9, 2016
street news, views and stories of justice and injustice
Follow me on Twitter

Search WitnessLA:

Recent Posts




Sex Trafficked Boys Overlooked as Victims….Trials for Sheriff’s Department Members Indicted for Hiding Federal Informant Schedules for May…..Pulitzers…and More

April 15th, 2014 by Celeste Fremon


It is heartening that kids who are involved in sex trafficking are now being seen—for the most part anyway—as victims to be protected and helped, rather than lawbreakers subject to arrest.

Unfortunately, this understanding that kids are the victims in the equation does not apply equally to both genders, writes Yu Sun Chin in his reports for the Juvenile Justice Exchange.

According to Chin, although boys represent over 50 percent of the kids commercially trafficked for sex in the U.S., they are still too often seen as perpetrators not victims by law enforcement.

Here’s a clip:

For years, the sex trade was ‘their’ problem, a heinous part of culture in poorer nations. But attention here to sex trafficking has slowly increased in recent years with the reauthorization of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and other federal state laws.

Still, males remain a largely invisible population within the dialogue on sex trafficking. According to a 2008 study by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, in fact, boys comprised about 50 percent of sexually exploited children in a sample study done in New York, with most being domestic victims.

However, the percentage of male victims may be higher due to the underreported and subversive nature of the crime, said Summer Ghias, program specialist for the Chicago-based International Organization for Adolescents.

“We’re conditioned as a community to identify female victims more readily,” she said, “because that has been the more prominent focus of the anti-trafficking movement.”

Despite these high percentages of commercially sexually exploited boys, a 2013 study by ECPAT-USA indicates that boys and young men are rarely identified as people arrested for prostitution or rescued as human trafficking victims, and are arrested more for petty crimes such as shoplifting.

Experts say that the law enforcement’s attitudes toward male victims are still weighed down by gender biases in trafficking discourse, which pins females as victims and males as perpetrators. Therefore, male victims in custody often fall through the cracks of services that could be offered to help them because they are not properly assessed for sexual exploitation.


In a hearing on Monday afternoon, Federal Judge Percy Anderson ordered that trials begin in mid-May for LA Sheriff’s Department defendants charged for their alleged part in the hiding of FBI informant Anthony Brown.

At the same hearing, Anderson agreed to grant a motion to sever the trial of Deputy James Sexton from that of the six other defendants (lieutenants Greg Thompson and Stephen Leavins, plus two sergeants, Scott Craig and Maricella Long., and deputies Gerard Smith, Mickey Manzo.)

As expected, Anderson denied a list of other motions brought by attorneys representing Sexton and several of the others, including motions to dismiss charges. (WLA reported on some of the motions filed by defendants here and here.)

As the cases speed toward trial, the main question that hangs in the air is whether the U.S. Attorneys Office will eventually indict any of the higher-ups who are said to have ordered the hiding of Brown, or if only those allegedly following those orders (including whistleblower Sexton, who will now be tried separately from the other six) will be threatened with prison terms and felony records.


KPCC’s Frank Stoltze interviews Paul Tanaka as part of Stoltze’s continuing series on the LASD Sheriff’s candidates for KPCC.

Here’s a clip:

Early on, Tanaka had little interest in being a cop. It’s hard to imagine now, but the buttoned-down Tanaka once wore a ponytail. “A lot of people had long hair back in the 1970s,” he explains.

He also adhered to the cultural rules in his strict Japanese-American household in Gardena, earning a black belt in Aikito and respecting his parent’s wishes.

“In an Asian family, you’re going to be a doctor or an attorney or a CPA,” says Tanaka, sporting a dark suit and tie on a recent afternoon at his campaign headquarters in Torrance.

He was an “A” student, studying accounting at Loyola Marymount University and holding down two jobs — one as a janitor, one making sports trophies — when his life changed. He spent a day on patrol with a sheriff’s deputy as part of a class and fell in love with policing.

It took years for Tanaka’s father to fully accept his eldest son’s decision. The young man had to adjust too:”One of the more traumatizing things was I had to do was cut my hair.”

Early in his career, Tanaka says he faced racial epithets in a mostly white department. He ignored most, chalking it up to ignorance. Over the years, the certified public accountant gained a reputation as detail-oriented — a commander who knew more about your job than you did.

Tanaka grew close to Baca, who eventually appointed him undersheriff. Tanaka became the heir apparent. The jail violence scandal that surfaced three years ago changed all of that.

Did he know about deputy abuse of inmates when he ran the jails from 2005-07? Tanaka claimed ignorance to the Citizens Commission on Jail Violence.

“It was never brought to my attention,” he said in his testimony.

What about violent deputy cliques inside Men’s Central Jail?

“That was never, ever mentioned as a problem,” he said.


All seven candidates for the office of LA County Sheriff squared off again on Monday night. KNBC 4 reports on some fiery moments.

Last Monday night’s mistaken fatal shooting by sheriff’s deputies of aspiring television producer, 30-year-old John Winkler, during a hostage stand-off, could not help but provide an emotional backdrop for the debate, some of those present reported.


Much is rightly being made over the fact that one of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes for journalism was awarded jointly to the Guardian US and the Washington Post for their coverage of the Edward Snowden/NSA revelations.

It is also notable, however, that the Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting went—not to any conventional news outlet—but to reporter Chris Hamby who writes for the Center for Public Integrity, an independent, non-profit news site that is one of many throughout the U.S. (WitnessLA included) that have filled in the gaps left as traditional news organizations cut back their coverage, often leaving vital issues underreported.

Both prizes are cheering signs.

EDITOR’S NOTE: While we’re on the subject of Pulitzers, I happen to heartily approve of the Pulitzer judges’ choice of Donna Tartt’s deliciously Dickensian novel The Goldfinch as the winner for the prize in Fiction.

And, speaking of literary prizes, here are the winners of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, announced this past Friday night.

(I was on the judging panel for the Current Interest Prize and my fellow judges and I are very proud of our winner—Sheri Fink for Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital—as well as all five of our finalists.)

Posted in 2014 election, American artists, American voices, FBI, Future of Journalism, juvenile justice, LA County Jail, LASD, Paul Tanaka, U.S. Attorney, writers and writing | 29 Comments »

29 Responses

  1. Searchlight Says:

    It is a disgusting shame that Paul Tanaka and Lee Baca, the architects of Pandora’s Box, walk around and enjoying life while “their” pawns deal with the prospect of termination and Federal prison time. Even more disgusting is the reports I hear from the media and from those who attend some of the debates, how Tanaka has distanced himself from all of this. And he wants to be Sheriff? Now that would be a travesty.

    To you Tanaka Kool Aid drinkers, do you think Paul has your back? Do you really think he is concerned about you? It was always, all about him. If you think otherwise, especially those who support him financially and morally during his campaign for Sheriff, you are delusional.

    A word of advise to those standing trial. You have been thrown under the bus by Baca and Tanaka and made fools of. If there is a deal on the table, you best give up the ghost and do so very, very quickly.

  2. Cognistator Says:

    “It was never brought to my attention,” Paul Tanaka said.

    In the U.S. Military if the troops don’t perform the Commander is held accountable. When a Naval vessel runs aground the ship’s captain is relieved of command, even though he was sound asleep in his bunk several decks away from the helmsman when the deed happened. He is held accountable for the training of the sailors aboard his ship.

    In WWII we lost the first battle to the Germans, at Kasserine Pass in North Africa, because our troops were caught above-ground–not in fox-holes–when the artillery barrages, tanks, and Stuka attacks came.

    A new General, George S. Patton, was put in charge, and that was basically the last battle we lost to the Germans.

    That military standard–holding the Commander responsible for the performance of the troops–really ought to be rigorously applied to LASD.

  3. The Bear Goes Everywhere Says:

    Tanaka wants to boast of his Japanese roots, yet he has no shame for the dishonor he has brought upon his subordinates, the department or the county. Honorable Japanese men in the past–even of today–would literally fall on their sword for far less. Tanaka was effectively the real the sheriff for the last decade, yet claims to be responsible for nothing. The buck stops with the deputies, not with him.

  4. Leftattheball Says:

    If the Feds are really concerned with actual justice,then those who were in Charge need to be held accountable. If not then they are no worse than those who led our department down this road. They are just playing the same political pawn game that our Deputies were caught up in. Don’t try and blow smoke up my anal orifice by saying two Lt’s were in charge.
    I get the feeling a promotion on the Fed side may be why the incitements stop, but then isn’t that what our leaders were doing that made us corrupt? Its funny how justice isn’t political but it is. Except to our deputies who are being hung out to dry.

    This whole thing began to stink when Baca “decided” to withdraw. Come on what kind of co-operation does the Fed think they will get in the future if they hold their current mantra that they got those in charge?

  5. IthacaBoomer Says:

    @LATBG- See below for one of your previous posts where you comment on the importance of following the money, Nalbanian the “Bundler,” and pontification about being on board with the honest and ethical Bob Olmstead. So no that it is a known fact that Nalbanian is “Bundling” for Olmstead how would you like to respond? Step up and answer the question or remain silent, to use your words, without a “spine” like a “gaggle of jellyfish.” Boomer.

    36. LATBG Says:
    October 11th, 2013 at 3:31 pm
    Following the money is always a good practice – it tells the story without all the bs. Nalbanian, the self-professed terrorism “expert,” who Baca claimed is the only thing standing between us and another 911, raised over $140,000 for Moonbeam as a “bundler” of campaign contributors.
    Anybody left standing who still wants to claim to be an honest, ethical, member of this department (past or present) should sprout a spine and tell Bob Olmsted thank you and where do I sign up to help? The department needs good leadership, not a gaggle of jellyfish.”

  6. Jack Dawson Says:

    Ladies and gents,

    These guys and gal are looking at serious and very real prison time for an on duty and sanctioned assignment.

    At least three divisions had to coordinate this operation: custody (OSJ), detetectives (ICIB), and patrol (San Dimas STA).

    Are you kidding me that Baca and Tanaka weren’t aware and coordinating?

    Who signed the PC declarations for the name changes, OT slips and directed three divisions to work in tandem??? Two Lt and three deputies? This is a f-ing joke and our people are standing by watching it…… Ask yourselves why??

    Cause they don’t want to join them. ALADs doesn’t want to offend Paul and goto bat.

    The A/S, Division Chiefs, Commanders, Unit Commanders, Ops Lts who knew, observed, and stood aside for PT about the entire spectrum of this operation are disgraceful.

    Scott you are pathetic if you think this is good for morale or acceptable behavior by supervisors.

    More than six or seven people were involved and the leadership accountability for anything is nil.

    These guys and gal have been ROD WITHOUT PAY for months for something that could be only approved at the highest levels based on the cross section of departmental resources alone!!!

    Are you going to tell me three different shifts of WCs at San Dimas station allowed a convicted inmate to be supervised by custody deputies from another facility in another division in their jail for over two weeks without somebody asking a question?

    Bullshit! DOJ and FBI and 4th floor you are some spineless bastards if I have ever seen it.

  7. Cherry Says:

    I hope you know who steps up soon to help the indicted Deputies. Time is running out. Now is not the time to be selfish.

  8. Oh Well Says:

    A third week LA County ADA with a few jail deputies working for him could put together a rock solid case against EVERYBODY involved. Yet these brilliant academics “who’s resumes are beyond reproach” can’t do anything but continue to seize the low laying fruit.

  9. LATBG Says:

    Ithacaboomer, you need to make up your mind. You want to escoriate me for Nalbanian’s “bundling” efforts, but the ones getting “bundled” by the tens of thousands are for Hellmold and Tanaka. Please entertain us all with the truckloads of cash this guy raised for Olmsted – oh wait he didn’t. Something about all the Armenians running to Hellmold at the direction of Baca, lest they lose their reserve status.

    Ain’t that something?

  10. Time to Clean House Says:

    What a disappointment if Bob is working with Nalbanian.

  11. Time to Clean House Says:

    Thanks Boom, I got my answer.

  12. Oh Well Says:

    Here’s a scenario for you. The trials last until after November. In the interim, Tanaka pulls it off and is elected sheriff. In the interim some of the indicted deputies are found guilty. They realize all that “Don’t worry, they have no case” crap might not be accurate. They just might be looking at federal prison. The trial isn’t going so good.
    Somebody sings like a bird. Or more than one.
    Now what?
    Does Tanaka get walked out of the sheriff’s office in hooks? Once again, the LASD is the laughing stock of LE.
    How much will that massage the feds. ego? How is that for teaching the local yokel LASD smartasses a lesson that you don’t fuck with the feds? “Now let’s hear you big bad LA County boys talk shit about how we couldn’t make a case if you gave us 23 beers”.
    How’s that for a headline for the feds?
    How’s that for furthering a fed. prosecutor’s career?
    Maybe the feds. are just taking the easy road because they think they are in the catbird’s seat and they can afford to be patient.

  13. Cognistator Says:

    #11: Thanks for the link; in it are also videos from some of the other Sheriff’s candidates, like Patrick Gomez & Todd Rogers. My favorite video, though, was the “USMC Battalion–Manual of Arms.” Brought back some memories of when I was 18 years old.

  14. On The Patch Says:

    Boom, This is the article I like, pay close attention to all the names of the executives that were there. You can bet there were plenty others.

  15. LATBG Says:

    On The Patch, wow, it looks like all the Tanaka and Hellmold groupies, past and present, 10-8 and rubbing elbows. Hilarious, considering Boomer is now desperately trying to tie Olmsted to something, anything, that can stick.

    Let me make it easy for you, Boomer. The press is going to report, and the LA Times will announce in their editorial, that your boy Tanaka is uniquely unqualified among all the candidates, to become sheriff. He is rotten to the core, the architect of all the department’s corruption, and will soon have other worries than trying to fool voters.

    Waive whatever you have on Olmsted’s fundraising. I’m sure you will find someone to listen to you, at least to make you feel better. His record is NOT based on Baca’s 211 job on his former reserves and he is NOT for sale. Tanaka, Hellmold, and to a lesser extent McDonnell have definitely proven they are available to the highest bidder. Rogers would too but he just can’t find a willing buyer…

  16. veritatem dies aperit Says:

    @LATBG: You should remain quiet on this one. You sound like a fool.

  17. Oh Well Says:

    As time goes on and it gets closer to the election, you hacks are making my point for me.

    Boomer: “My guy should be sheriff because he’s a cop’s cop and has our backs. He will hold people accountable and make them take responsibility”.
    Oops. He’s letting several of “us” swing in the breeze. He’s refusing to step up, be accountable and take responsibility. He’s willing to let some of “us” take the fall for him.

    LATBG: “My guy should be sheriff because he’s not like the rest of them. He’s of the highest ethics and will be a fresh start for the LASD. He won’t be pulling the same stuff Baca did”.
    Oops. He’s not just taking a page out of Baca’s book, he’s using one of the same pages. Welcoming a guy on board his campaign that leaves a terrible taste in the mouth of any honest cop. A guy who’s motive is without a doubt to try and buy favors from the sheriff.

    Veritatem: “My guy should be the sheriff. He’s not a politician, he’s a crime fighter”.
    Oops. He switches parties the day before announcing and then trumpets himself as the only progressive democrat in the race. A truly priceless example of a politician.

    You can’t make it up. Politicians. Every one of them. Maybe they were cops a long time ago. Somewhere along the line they decided to put their ethics and their honor up for sale. Anything to be sheriff.

    Rogers? Same old same old.

    Guys, telling us who you support is one thing. Telling us how he’s a political junkie like the rest of the candidates is quite another matter. Your refusal to admit your guy is just another slimy politician, doing what slimy politicians do WILL make you look silly.
    I’m here for you when you dive head first into denial. Somebody has to tell you the truth.

  18. LATBG Says:

    Mark Twain once observed: “never argue with idiots. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

  19. leftAtTheBall Says:

    I was upset at the Olmstead video with Mr. Nalbanian.
    He certainly had to be aware of his past. The escapades of Mr. Nalbanian and his group were well known, and several made their trips to the fourth floor on regular occasions.
    To be fair there were a few who actually wanted to be reserves and help out.
    Several more were out to be friends with “Lee”. There is no need to rehash the numerous, nefarious, and sometimes criminal type of behavior of Nalbanian and his crew.
    I can understand Mr Olmstead needing support of several communities, and the Armenian community is inclusive, but sitting with Nalbanian and having him tout how good you are, is not conducive to winning over a larger part of the community.
    To be fair Mr. T had his own crew of “special” people who made weekly visits to his office. Maybe a few had county cars? So thanks for the video link, but my opinion of Mr. T will never change. It did make me question Olmsteads choice though.

  20. Really Says:

    Take a look at 2:35 into the video with Nalbandian:

    Olmsted says as Sheriff he will influence the federal government to take action in Kessab, Syria on behalf of Armenians. Is Baca, I mean Olmsted, going to be the Sheriff of Syria or Los Angeles. How is going to influence US foreign policy in that role?

  21. Jack Dawson Says:

    What if Mark Twain was referring to people like Baca and Mr. Nalbanian?

    You speak as if those individuals are the ones above us all. These types of comments reflect the very personalities that empowered, enabled, and nurtured Baca to thinking he was always the smartest person in the room.

    Way to go LATBG… You help create a monster.

    So carry on with your defenses of the nobility using Mark Twain, Socrates, and Aristotle as if we are the problem Baca, Nalbanian, Olmstead, McD, Rodgers, and Hellmond must fix. Truth is we are nowhere close to the end, and an election is not going to resolve the LASD problem.

    Intellectuals solve problems. Geniuses prevent them. Albert Einstein.

    Baca and Tanaka have created a decade of problems that will take a generation to fix. They have also let the ship sink with souls on board. True leaders and real captains grip the helm and take a ride to the bottom.

  22. LATBG Says:

    If that is Olmsted’s only sin, not vetting a donor more carefully, I can live with that. That still puts him head and shoulders above the politicians just trying to add stars to their collars.

    One of the seven IS going to be the next sheriff. Chose, but chose wisely. I can live with my choice.

  23. IthacaBoomer Says:

    Wow…Baca re-incarnated. Talk about pandering to international special interests. Perhaps he’ll dance in Pakistan too like Leroy did. Straight up exposed!

  24. veritatem dies aperit Says:

    @LATBG: Please……You’re digging a deeper ditch. Nice try at covering the Nalbadian meltdown. (One donor not vetted????) Everybody and their mother knows what Nalbadian is all about. Did Mustache Bob try a page out of Leroy’s playboook? You are the laughing stock of this site. How many months until retirement. Are you lying about that? I think you are.

    Please throw out some more Einstein, Socrates, Homer, or Aristotle mumbo jumbo. We are laughing our balls off.

    btw, I don’t think Tanaka is getting indicted, so cry into your pillow.

    Boomer has you on the ropes, and you’re begging for the ref to stop it.

  25. LATBG Says:

    Jack, the Mark Twain reference was not for you, but I’m sure you’ve realized that. As for my favorite heroes, Veritatem and Boomer, the self-professed shot callers of the universe, you have a Houston sized problem. You think you have “dirt” on Olmsted, but John Q Voter knows more than they need to know about your boy, Tanaka.

    That is what will decide elections. Now go run along and raise a million dollars and make your own independent campaign expenditure.

  26. Jack Dawson Says:

    Never claimed to have dirt. I liked Olmstead up until the Nalbanian pick up. I posted it when I saw it.

    As a LA County voter, he lost my vote with that decision. Too close to Baca especially by a guy who is running as a reformer.

  27. Oh Well Says:

    You asked me a direct question previously.

    “Who counseled the sheriff when it was time for him to retire”?

    Here’s your direct answer. I don’t know. Please tell me who it was.

  28. Cognistator Says:

    #27: An answer;

  29. Oh Well Says:

    You’re missing my point. I read the article. I’m not disputing what Veritatem said. I’m questioning Hellmold’s relationship with the sheriff. I’m trying to get Veritatem to explain WHY Hellmold would tell the sheriff it was time to retire, what Hellmold’s motive was. “I’m not a politician, I’m a crime fighter”.
    I think Leather Lips was wanting Baca out of the way. Baca was favored to win the election again.
    Also, IF Leather Lips’ motives were pure, WHY did he sit back all those years and remain silent while Baca was making moves and doing things that led to his disgrace? Was Leather Lips just a politician way back then, or was he too stupid to see the disasters on the horizon? Did he not have his finger on the pulse of the department when he was at such assignments as Century and SEB? Was Leather Lips the only guy on the department that didn’t know Tanaka was running the show and everybody was laughing at Leroy? Why would Leather Lips keep that from Baca? In other words Cog, regarding ALL that stuff that Leroy was “kept in the dark” about, was Leather Lips in the dark too? If so, he’s far far to naive to be the sheriff. If Leather Lips wasn’t in the dark, oh well, that brings up a whole other question doesn’t it?
    How long had this “special” relationship between Leather Lips and Baca been in place? In other words, was Leather Lips a Judas or was he just ignorant?
    I would LOVE for Veritatem or any other Leather Lips fan to debate me on this. I’ve got some mighty tough questions for those who are naive enough to believe Leather Lips isn’t looking out for himself, and himself ONLY.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.