An alleged Long Beach gang member was charged with committing human trafficking and causing great bodily injury Tuesday after a woman he is accused of prostituting appeared with physical injuries in court last week, according to Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) officials.
Leevi Matuni Maseuli, 23—known by his street names “Weezy” or “Lil Beast”—was arrested Thursday, May 21, near his home and is now facing charges of human trafficking with special allegations of use of a deadly weapon, personal infliction of great bodily injury, and benefiting a criminal street gang, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office stated.
Maseuli was linked to the charges after Long Beach detectives noticed a woman, linked to a previous human trafficking investigation, with traumatic injuries to her face and body at the Long Beach Superior Court for an unrelated matter on Wednesday, May 20.
Detectives immediately transported her to a local hospital and offered social services as part of a protocol between the Long Beach City Prosecutor’s Office and the LBPD, known as the Impact team.
“Our collaboration with City Prosecutor Doug Haubert on the Impact Program is a great example of how we can maximize our resources to protect and support these victims and bring dangerous criminals to justice,” LBPD Chief Robert Luna said in a statement.
During an investigation into the incident, detectives learned that over the last two and a half months the victim was forced to provide sex for money, with all the profit going to Maseuli, LBPD officials said.
If she did not make $500 a day, she was severely punished.
“Maseuli beat her, cut her with a knife, and threatened to kill her as a means to keep her trapped in a life of human trafficking,” according to a press release.
Maseuli is currently being held in Men’s Central Jail on $225,000 bail.
His next court appearance is on June 12.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation, or anyone who is or has been a victim of human trafficking should call the Long Beach Police Vice Investigations Detail for help at (562) 570-7219.