As we've noted, it's sweeps time for TV news in L.A. So you can expect a lot of typically sensational reporting (CBS2 found a city worker buying alcohol before heading to the mayor's house, for example).

NBC Los Angeles' look into Tijuana prostitution this week, however, came up with something unusual:

An American girl — a 16-year-old from Southern California — working the streets of TJ's notorious Zona Norte.

Prostitution in Tijuana is de facto legal, and thus …

… the scene there provides evergreen fodder for the sweeps camera crews looking to find pervy American men paying for sex.

Finding an underage girl from Riverside is a different story.

A club in Zona Norte.; Credit: Paul Sullivan

A club in Zona Norte.; Credit: Paul Sullivan

Reporter Antonio Castelan said he paid a pimp for an encouter with a girl, and that the teen he calls Najeri from Riverside was produced. NBC L.A. says she was being “forced to have sex” and that her customers are often Americans.

The price of an encounter is said to be $40.

Castelan writes that he was tempted to make off with the girl — to rescue her — but that the drug cartels' involvement in sex trafficking changed his mind:

The sex trade in Tijuana is closely linked to the region's violent drug cartels – sex trafficking of children is thought to be the third-highest revenue generator for the cartels after the drug trade and gun smuggling, according to the commission.

While Tijuana's red light district has been a beacon to Americans since the 1920s, when Prohibition sent Hollywood celebrities down south in search of booze, horse racing and girls, NBC L.A. says the business is now seeping across the border:

The illegal sex trade is a growing export from the U.S. to Mexico …

Of course, the numbers behind claims of sex trafficking are in question. As for the girl? You'll have to tune in at 11 p.m. to find out more.


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