DETECTIVES are investigating reports a 17-year-old girl was forced into sex work in Warrnambool’s suburbs over the past three months.
A 33-year-old man was arrested at a North Warrnambool address and was interviewed in relation to procuring and inducing a child to take part in sex work, allowing a child to take part in sex work, living on the earnings of a sex worker and related offences.
The Warrnambool man was released pending further inquiries.
Detective Sergeant Chris Asenjo, of the Warrnambool sexual offences and child abuse investigation team, said illegal sex work occurred throughout Australia and south-west Victoria was not an exception.
He said people with any information about the abuse of children and teenagers should contact detectives, even confidentially if they wish.
“It would be naive to suggest that illegal sex work is not occurring in all parts of Victoria and this region is not immune,” Detective Sergeant Asenjo said.
“There aren’t a lot of reported cases on illegal sex work but to say that it’s not happening isn’t true and young people are exploited.
“We are looking for people with any information to come forward, any details on this matter or any other which can shed more light on the issue.”
Police encourage anyone who believes they may be a victim of a similar crime to come forward and report the matter.
Anyone with any information that may assist with the investigation is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.