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The grandmother of a 16-year-old Arizona girl accused of prostitution — and recruiting and pimping other teen girls — said Wednesday she hopes to fight the charges in court.
Grandmother Linda Tye wants to fight the charges against her granddaughter, Tatiana Tye, in court.
“I really want to take it to trial,” Linda Tye, grandmother of Tatiana Tye told CNN Radio. “She needs to meet her accusers.”
Tatiana Tye and a second 16-year-old girl, Jazmine Finley, were indicted earlier this week by a grand jury, Maricopa County, Arizona, prosecutors said in a statement. Although the girls are juveniles, prosecutors released their names and said they will be tried as adults.
Tye is charged with one count of child prostitution and three counts of pandering, or serving as a go-between or liaison for sexual purposes, prosecutors said.
Finley faces nine counts of child prostitution; two counts of receiving earnings of a prostitute; and one count of pandering. All the charges are felonies, prosecutors said.
The two were arrested last week after a five-month investigation, Phoenix police told reporters. Authorities believe Tye and Finley recruited at least five girls, ranging in age from 14 to 17, on the campuses of their high schools, police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said in a Monday news briefing posted on the Web site of CNN affiliate KTVK.
“We have a situation of two girls, 16 years old, who are, in essence, pimps,” Hill said. “And they ran their own brothel.”
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Police believe the girls had rented an apartment used solely for acts of prostitution, he said.
Prosecutors, citing a police probable cause statement, said the teenagers recruited girls by telling them of “all the money they would be making. Additionally, they were told that it was better working for them as opposed to male pimps because they would not get beat up.”
Hill said, “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.”