|02-26-2009, 11:32 AM||#1|
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Teenage Girls 'Pimped Out Their Classmates'
Two teenagers have been accused of pimping out fellow schoolgirls in an underground prostitution ring.
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Tatiana Tye and Jazmine Finley allegedly rented a flat and forced at least five girls, aged from 14 to 17, to undergo child sex abuse for profit.
The pair, from Maricopa Country in Arizona, were also said to be working as prostitutes themselves.
Police are treating the girls - both aged 16 - as adult suspects and have charged them with multiple counts of child prostitution, pandering and receiving the earnings of a prostitute.
Phoenix police spokesman Sergeant Andy Hill said: "We have a situation of two girls, 16 years old, who are, in essence, pimps.
"I think we were all surprised at, you know, were these 16-year-old girls that were arrested, were they running this business? And the answer is yes, they were."
But Tye, who has been interviewed from her cell awaiting trial, has denied the charges.
She told local news channel KPHO: "I would never ever call myself a pimp or a madam.
"I can't believe it's happening like this."
She also denied recruiting other girls.
Phoenix police said they began an investigation last September after receiving information about child prostitution.
They added that more arrests were possible.
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