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Bossier Parish couple pleads not guilty to charges of inciting prostitution involving their underage relatives

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ELM GROVE, La. -

It's hard to imagine that such a crime could happen on a quiet street like Country Forest Lane in Elm Grove, LA.

But Bossier Parish Sheriff's officials say it's there that two teenage girls were taught to lie about their age and sell themselves for money.

Undercover detectives worked for nearly two months to gather enough information to charge 37-year-old Randell White and his wife, 31-year-old Brandi White with inciting prostitution in August.

The evidence includes text messages, pictures, and video.

Brandi White allegedly made arrangements over the phone for men to come and pick up the juveniles, have sex with them and give the cash to her husband, Randell.

Allegedly, the deal was sexual intercourse for $60.

"I think the problem is generally a lot larger than most people realize."

Lieutenant Bruce Bletz, a detective with the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Dept. says predators, especially those who children trust the most, like family, often brainwash their victims for years.

"Generally, the offender will start to groom the child at a very young age and it will get to the point where the child feels like this is normal."

Behavior that Bossier Sheriff's authorities say probably went on inside the Whites' home for years.

A reality that had become so distorted for the two teens - one 14 and one 16 at the time - that it was difficult for them to fully open up to the very people who were trying to help.

"We were able to make contact and monitor different things through social media and through the internet."

Though child exploitation is alarmingly common, even in northwest Louisiana, authorities with the Bossier Sheriff's Department say this was an unusual case. Investigators say the two girls lied about their age and were aware of the consequences of their behavior.

Evidence, some of it too graphic to air, revealed the teens had allegedly taken money for sex, resulting in a charge of prostitution.

That charge prompted KTBS 3 News to look into the idea that the girls would be re-victimized by being sent through the juvenile justice system.

But authorities say, not so, because their records will be sealed when they turn 18, preventing what happened to them as children from following them around as adults.

The Whites, on the other hand, if convicted, could face up to a $50,000 fine, and as many as 50 years in prison.

They'd also have to register as sex offenders for the next 25 years.

Two men have been also arrested in the case - 19-year-old Tyler Gage and 21-year-old Daniel Johnson, who were both charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile.

And though authorities say there was sufficient evidence the two men engaged in sexual activity with the teens, there wasn't enough to prove the men paid for it.

Still, if convicted, the two could face a $5,000 fine, up to seven years in prison, or both.

They'd also have to register as tier one sex offenders annually for the next 15 years.

But investigators say their focus always remained on Brandi and Randell White, the two adults authorities say are at the center of unthinkable crimes involving children.

"The amount of cases that we work involving child sexual assaults and molestations really is just overwhelming," says Bletz.

Both Randell and Brandi White pleaded not guilty last week to the charge of inciting prostitution.

They'll be back in court in February.

Gage and Johnson are scheduled to be in court next week.

At the time of their arrest, the girls were placed in state custody and given counseling through an organization like the Gingerbread House Advocacy Center in Shreveport..

The Gingerbread House provides forensic interviews and counseling for children who are victims of abuse.

The organization partners with law enforcement, child protective services, the district attorney's offices, and health professionals.

Their goal is to lessen the trauma experienced by child abuse.

"Just to put it into perspective, last year in 2012, we had 29 cases of human trafficking involving children under the age of 14 and in 2013, as of probably the end of October, we're up to 35," says Executive Director Jessica Miller.

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