One of the best things about events like Saturday night’s 63rd Annual Golden Mike Awards in Universal City is that they can shine new light on well-deserving local reporting. Such is the case with a November 2011 investigation that earned NBCLA’s Antonio Castelan a prize for Best News Reporting.
In the piece, Castelan paid $40 and was soon chatting with a 16-year-old Riverside teen about how she came to be enslaved across the border in Tijuana into a drug cartel-run prostitution operation:
“Najeri” told me that as a child left largely on her own she started “hanging out with the wrong crowd” and was flattered by the attention and companionship of men in the group. By the time she learned their true intentions it was too late.
She showed me the room where she’s forced to have sex, a tiny stall barely big enough for a shoddy bed. “It can be very… very scary,” she said. “A lot of the times those guys are Americans.”
Castelan filed the award-winning report just a few months after joining the station. He was previously with ABC affiliate KRGV-TV in Brownsville, Texas.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
WATCH: Emmy-Winning Reports About Wi-Fi Hacking, Small Claims Scamming & HACLA Spending