My name is Maritza Esparra; I was born in Manhattan, New York on October 14, 1956. I am of Puerto Rican decent. Both my parents were born and raised in Puerto Rico.
We followed other family to Los Angeles, California and made it home. After High School I joined the United States Navy and served our country for one tour. After the military I began to work for the Aerospace Industry.
After President Reagan left office, the Aerospace industry laid off thousands of workers which included myself.
In 1990 I was hired by the Los Angeles Police Department. I was a uniformed Patrol Officer answering radio calls for service. Other assignments were Vice, Narcotics, Special Problems, Bike Patrol, etc. I promoted to Detective in 2001 until now.
In between all the above I was married and had two children who are now adults. I am now divorced for the last 24 years and living in the city of San Pedro.
During my life, I started dancing Ballet as a child and as I became older danced Salsa for many years. After my children left home I went back to dance and fell in love with hip hop. Dance became my lover! That was 10 years ago and proud to say that I STILL dance!
So, you asked “Why YPAD”?
December 9, 2017, I went to a workshop put on by the JANFAM MOVEMENT where Janet Jackson’s dancers and choreographer, Tina Landon, taught a class. During the class Tina mentioned YPAD. She passed out a flyer that described some of the services which included the subject of sexual assaults involving young dancers. Immediately I thought that this may be a good way for me to contribute my knowledge regarding law enforcement.
During my career, I have investigated sex crimes of all types. One of my assignments I kept track of Registered Sex Offenders and arrest those who not in compliance. I have arrested and interviewed suspects of sexual assaults. All of the cases (except for one) that I had taken to court for prosecution were successful. I was also a member of the Sexual Assault Association during my assignment as a Sex Crimes Detective.