They have handcuffs, guns and badges, and they're around children a lot, so you'd hope that Los Angeles Unified School District Police are upstanding.
In one recent case, a district officer was anything but, federal prosecutors allege.
Mauricio Edgardo Estrada, 28, was indicted this week on allegations of attempted sex trafficking of a minor and using the Internet to induce a child to engage in sex, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles said.
He allegedly fell for a Craigslist ad placed by Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, the office said in a statement.
The ad offered sex with a 15-year-old girl, prosecutors said. Estrada was willing to pay $150, which was found in his pocket, and he purchased condoms before an April 20 meeting with the girl was to take place, they alleged.
Of course, when the cop showed up at an Artesia gas station to meet the nonexistent girl, he was introduced to the intimate side of a set of handcuffs, authorities said.
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Estrada was jailed but got out after posting bond, feds said. The district has placed him on leave, they said.
Estrada faces the possibility of 20 years behind bars if he's convicted, officials said.
"Protecting children from sexual exploitation means focusing our resources on all aspects of the industry that preys upon young people," said the U.S. Attorney in L.A., Eileen M. Decker. "Prosecutors in my office who deal with sex crimes against children have a long history of targeting those who produce, distribute and possess child pornography. We also aggressively prosecuted pimps who prostitute minors and use physical violence to establish and maintain control over their victims. Now we are turning our attention to customers who seek out young prostitutes, because their demand fuels an industry that causes so much harm to so many young people."
You've been warned, creeps.