A California man was arrested on suspicion of sex trafficking with a teenager who went missing in a group home and later turned up in Las Vegas.
Elijah Arruda, 18, of Lancaster, was booked Sunday at the Clark County Detention Center for prostitute earnings, sex trafficking in a child under 18, child abuse neglect, and first degree abduction.
A Las Vegas police officer assigned to the Task Force on the Exploitation of Children in Southern Nevada wrote in an arrest report for Arruda that while police were investigating the Las Vegas Strip on Spring Mountain Road, they found a female youth who ” Was reported missing in a group at Home ”recently.
“She ran home from the group in early March 2021,” police said. “(She) has been working in prostitution for about a year.”
The youth said they met a young man named “Elijah” on social media and stayed with the person. The man served as a lookout for her when she was engaged in prostitution. She refused to give the man any money she earned, but then told the police that sometimes she gave the man a little money.
Arruda was subsequently arrested by the Las Vegas police. He denied trafficking in teenagers and said he did not know that she worked as a prostitute. He said he thought the girl would be allowed to leave the youth home for a few days to come to Las Vegas, where they were planning to buy a car before returning to California.
No charges have been filed in the case. Arruda is due to appear before the Las Vegas Magistrate Court in May as authorities decide whether to bring criminal charges or not.
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