3 men arrested, accused of human trafficking, forcing teen into prostitution in San Diego

Posted at 6:31 AM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 10:22:12-04

Three men were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a teenage girl and forcing her into prostitution in San Diego.

According to the Ventura Police Department, three Fresno men -- 21-year-old Brian Lewis, 20-year-old Rasheed Howard and 18-year-old Dashawn Jackson -- were arrested in Ventura and booked into jail on felony human trafficking and conspiracy charges. Lewis was also charged with carrying a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

The 17-year-old girl contacted police after escaping from the men at a Ventura hotel on March 25. She told police "she has been in the company of three adult males for the last three days and that she was forced to commit acts of prostitution in San Diego County until they arrived in Ventura early this morning and ended up in a room at the La Quinta Inn on Valentine Rd. The victim was told she was not free to leave and was threatened with physical harm if she did not comply."

After the girl provided descriptions of the men and their location, police arrested the trio.

Ventura police said their investigation is ongoing, but they are urging anyone with information on this case to contact the department's Major Crimes Unit at 805-339-4465.

Human trafficking is continuing to plague many counties across California. Earlier this year, a statewide human trafficking sweep involving multiple law enforcement agencies led to the arrest of nearly 40 people.

If you know of anyone who may be a victim of human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Center hotline at 888-373-7888.