US police in underage sex worker scandal
A FORMER underage sex worker at the centre of a sex scandal that rocked seven police forces has been awarded $1 million.
Jasmine Abuslin, also known as Celeste Guap, began having sex aged 17 with more than a dozen officers from around San Francisco's East Bay.
In total, she had sex with 30 cops from Oakland, Richmond, Livermore and Alameda and Contra Costa County sheriff's offices, and said three paid her.
Asked by ABC7 why she had sex with those who didn't pay, she said: "I don't know, I just look at them like information. Their perks become your perks, you know."
Now 19, Ms Abuslin's settlement is far less than the $89 million figure she and her original lawyer requested, but she told the news station she was satisfied. "I feel happy that I can close this chapter and move on with my life," she said.
The young woman said she "never came up with those numbers, those large numbers."
The teenager, who has been open about her difficult upbringing and struggle with drug addiction, said she feared for her life after telling her story.
After comments on social media and online, the young woman messaged an ABC7 journalist: "They're scaring me that I'm a get killed." Her then-lawyer placed Ms Abuslin in safe houses with 24-hour armed security guards and had her wear a bulletproof vest when she went outside.
In a late-night session on Wednesday, Oakland City Council approved a $US989,000 ($1.3 million) settlement with Ms Abuslin, about a third of which will towards lawyers' fees. She posted a photo of her and her legal team on Facebook, with the caption: "BIG THANK YOU to my legal team #grateful."
Her lawyer John Burris said that most importantly, the case was about the "outrageous behaviour on the part of people who are police officers, who were sworn to uphold the law and engage in regular contact violating the oath of law enforcement they had taken."
He said the officers had "somehow believed they were above the law or that no one would care because perhaps Jasmine's credibility would be called into question.
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said it was in the best interest of the city to settle the matter quickly and fairly and focus on "rebuilding the public trust that was so damaged by this incident."
Five of the Oakland officers allegedly involved with Ms Abuslin are facing criminal charges.