Looking to prevent pimps from preying on vulnerable foster youth, the county Board of Supervisors will consider Tuesday creating a sex-trafficking task force.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich has filed a motion directing the county Department of Children and Family Services to head the task force. Its mission would be to develop a plan for preventing foster youth from being turned into prostitutes and for extricating current child sex workers from sex-trafficking rings.

He noted that 174 youths under age 18 were arrested for prostitution-related charges in Los Angeles County in 2010. Almost two-thirds had prior involvement with the DCFS.

"In many cases, these minors have suffered in their own homes before becoming involved in DCFS, and then move to a life on the streets where they are victimized and terrorized by local pimps," Antonovich wrote in the motion. "Even more shocking is that pimps are using child sex workers to recruit fellow foster care children at the DCFS Emergency Response Command Post and group homes across the county."

Antonovich said statistics from several sources, including the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation showed the average age of entry into prostitution is 12 years old, and the average life expectancy following entry is seven years.

Voters have shown they want to crack down on sex traffickers by approving Proposition 35 earlier this month, Antonovich added.

The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act will strengthen penalties against human traffickers, collect fines to pay for services to victims, and require that all sex offenders disclose their Internet accounts, among other provisions.

Antonovich proposed the DCFS-led sex-trafficking task force also collaborate with the county Sheriff's, Probation and Mental Health departments, as well as with the District Attorney's Office, Los Angeles Police Department, and others.

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