In California, cases charged with pimping, pandering and human trafficking can range from 2 years to life in state prison. In 2012, under Prop 35 the people of the state of California voted in favor of increasing penalties for human trafficking including sex offender registration and recognizing all minors subjected to commercial sex a victim of a crime. In 2017, California legislation no longer allowed minors to be arrested for prostitution. In combination of Prop 35, using the victim-centered approach, and investigating cases as human trafficking not prostitution, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force stopped arresting minors for prostitution since 2015.
PEOPLE V. WILLIAMS
On January 6, 2015, Williams met 20-year-old Victim 1 in Los Angeles and said he would drive her to a storage unit to pick her up belongings. The defendant instead drove her to areas of Orange County known for human trafficking and prostitution. Williams demanded the victim solicit commercial sex and give him all the money she received from sex purchasers. The victim was reluctant to do so and Williams threatened her to get in the car when a sex purchaser solicited her. The victim fought off the sex purchaser and escaped to the city of Stanton. She immediately called 911 and Task Force Investigators responded to the scene, however, Williams had fled the county.
Between February 1, 2016 and May 31, 2016, Williams pimped Victim 2 in Orange County. On May 31, 2016 Task Force Investigators observed Williams picking up Victim 2 in Stanton. When investigators attempted to detain him, he initiated a high-speed pursuit ending with Williams crashing into a tree. Before fleeing on foot, Williams threatened to kill Victim 2 because he believed she had set up him with the police. Williams ran through a Garden Grove neighborhood and hid in a garage. The homeowner confronted the defendant with a firearm, and Williams threw cash at the homeowner requesting him not to call the police. He fled from the garage and hid in a nearby backyard, where he was located and arrested. A court issued a protective order prohibiting the defendant from communication with Victim 2. Between June 3, 2016 and June 4, 2016, Williams called a family member from county jail and instructed them to contact Victim 2 in violation of the restraining order.
On February 6, 2017, Williams pled guilty and sentenced to 16 years state prison for pimping, criminal threats, evading while driving recklessly, pandering, resisting and obstructing a police officer, aggravated trespassing, destroying or concealing evidence, violation of a protective order, and sentencing enhancements for prior felony convictions.
PEOPLE V. JACKSON
From September 2013 to October 2013, Jackson pimped and pandered 18-year-old Victim 1. He posted sexually explicit advertisements of the victim on websites and took all of the money she received from sex purchasers. Jackson forcibly raped the victim several times. On October 25, 2013, Victim 1 called her mother from a hotel in Anaheim asking for help. The victim's mother immediately called the Anaheim Police Department, who later located Victim 1. Task Force Investigators took over the investigation and soon found Victim 2, who was also pimped by Jackson alongside Victim 1.
On September 8, 2014, Task Force Investigators arrested Jackson. At the time of the arrest, the defendant was trafficking a 17-year-old Victim 3. The victim was also forcibly raped by Jackson during her time with him. Over the course of the investigation, police discovered that in the spring of 2014 Jackson pimped and pandered 19-year-old Victim 4 and 21-year-old Victim 5. While Jackson was in custody in Orange County Jail between 2014 and 2015, he spoke with Victim 3 on the phone and intimidated her in order to dissuade her from testifying in court.
On March 29, 2017, a jury found Jackson guilty of human trafficking, pimping, pandering, rape, attempted criminal threats with intent to terrorize, attempting to dissuade a victim/witness from testifying, and sentencing enhancements of trafficking a minor with force or fear, multiple victims, and four serious and violent felony convictions of robbery and attempted carjacking in 2007 in Florida. He was sentenced to 99 years to life in state prison.
PEOPLE V. SPURLOCK
Prior to June 2014, Spurlock recruited several victims to engage in commercial sex in Orange County and posted sexually explicit advertisements of several of the victims on websites known for soliciting prostitution. The defendant kept the money the victims received from the sex purchasers. In April 2014, Newport Beach Police Department began investigating Spurlock for an unrelated matter. Detectives conducted a surveillance of the defendant and Victim 1, at a high-rise condo complex near John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. On several occasions, the officers observed Victim 1 and two additional victims at hotel in Costa Mesa known for prostitution. The rooms were often registered under the name of Victim 1.
Between April and June 2014, Newport Beach Police Department detectives discovered several sexually explicit advertisements online of Victim 1 and Victim 2 soliciting commercial sex. It was apparent Spurlock was doing very well financially based on his residence and the high-end vehicles he and the victims were driving. Newport Beach Police Department contacted the Task Force and conducted multiple joint undercover operations resulting in contact with several sex purchasers. On July 17, 2014, Newport Beach Police Department located and arrested Spurlock at this residence. Task Force Investigators contacted Victim 1 and Victim 3 at the hotel in Santa Ana and determined they were pimped by Spurlock. Additionally, they located two firearms and over $14,000 in cash in Spurlocks's apartment. Spurlock beat Victim 1 and Victim 7 on several occasions and pimped and pandered several other victims. Spurlock made several calls from Orange County Jail in order to dissuade Victim 1 from testifying against him.
On March 8, 2017, a jury found Spurlock guilty of human trafficking, pimping, pandering and conspiring to dissuade a witness. He also pled guilty on February 27, 2017 to one felony county of possession of a firearm by a felon. He was sentenced to 21 years and 4 months in stat prison.
PEOPLE V. GUYTON
On December 2014, Guyton used social media to contact the victim in South Dakota, to recruit her to work for him as a sex worker. He did so by sending her pictures of mansions and luxury vehicles and telling her the lives of her and her child would improve if she worked for him. The victim agreed and met Guyton at his home in Nevada where he initially trafficked her and later brought her to Orange County. Between December 2014 and April 2015, Guyton forced the victim to engage in commercial sex seven days a week, only permitting the victim to see her child depending whether she met the $1,000 quota he set. During the time of victimization, Guyton received between $30,000 and $50,000 by exploiting the victim.
Guyton deprived the victim of her liberty by making false promises and threatening to keep her child from her if she did not meet the quota he set. In April 2015, the victim, desperate to flee her situation, called her father in Minnesota and told him she wanted to leave, but did not not know where Guyton kept her son. The victim did not want law enforcement involved. The father contacted the Task Force and informed them of his daughter's plight. He did not know the whereabouts of his daughter, but believed she might be in Orange County. Task Force Investigators responded and at some point located the victim. She did not know where Guyton had her son, and even with officers present, she was afraid to call Guyton to fnid out about her son. Investigators continued into the early morning hours and lcoated and arrested Guyton who had the victim's son.
On May 17, 2016, a jury found Guyton guilty of human trafficking and sentenced him to 14 years in state prison. In June 2016, Guyton appealed his human trafficking conviction, stating he was the child's babysitter while his girlfriend worked as a sex worker. He did not deprive her of her liberty as she could have "walked away anytime."
Feruary 14, 2018, the California Appellate Court issued an opinion affirming Guyton's conviction for human trafficking, citing that "various restrictions defendant placed on the victim, including isolating her, constantly monitoring her, requiring her to stay in contact with him by phone, checking her phone, requiring her to work so much she was exhausted, falsely promising he had purchased a car for her, kept the child away from her unless she made enough money, and depriving her of the financial means to live." The court asserted these circumstances, "rendered the victim totally reliant on defendant" and concluded there was substantial evidence of a "sustained restriction of liberty accomplished through force, fear, fraud, deceit, duress and menace... Something far more serious and sinister than a pimp deriving support or maintenance from the prostitute's earnings was occurring. Under the circumstances disclosed in this record, we find there is substantial evidence to support the jury's verdict that the defendant committed human trafficking."
PEOPLE V. GARCIA AND ROBINSON
In 2013, a 14-year-old victim who lived in another state ran away from home. Robinson, an adult female, befriended the victim with the intention of procuring her for the purposes of prostitution for Garcia. Robinson engaged in commercial sex to benefit Garcia and recruited other women to do the same for Garcia. Garcia and Robinson took the victim to a hotel room under the pretense of offering her an opportunity to make money by answering phones.
Once at the hotel, Garcia told the victim that she would be required to engage in commercial sex for his financial benefit. Garcia took the victim to Orange County and forced her to work as a prostitute by walking down the street in high prostitution areas. He posted sexually suggestive advertisements of the victim on known prostitution websites.
Garcia forced the victim to have sex with sex purchasers, collected all of the money she received from men, and set a daily quota that the victim had to meet under the threat of withholding meals if she did not bring in enough money. Robinson instructed the victim on what do do, including how much to charge for various sex acts. A patrol officer observed the victim in an area known for prostitution and began investigating the case because the victim looked extremely young. Members of the OCHTTF identified the victim as both a missing person and victim of human trafficking, and arrested Garcia and Robinson.
Garcia was found guilty by a jury in the first Orange County Prop 35 case of felony counts of human trafficking, pimping a minor under 16, with sentencing enhancements and prison convictions. He was sentenced in 2014 to 17 years to life in state prison. Robinson was found guilty by jury of one felon count of human trafficking and pandering of a minor under 16 years old. She was sentence in 2013 to five years in state prison.
PEOPLE V. MIMS
In 2014, Mims began a romantic relationship with the victim and moved into her home. Mims is a member of a criminal street gang and frequently used the victim's home for activities of his criminal street gang. Mims convinced the victim to engage in commercial sex acts for money and turn over 100 percent of the profits to him. Mims deprived the victim of her liberty by forcing her to engage in commercial sex acts against her will. With the money that he received from the commercial sex acts, he used it with the specific intent to promote further and assist in the criminal conduct of his gang.
Mims and the victim got into a verbal dispute in her home and during the confrontation, Mims pulled out a knife and placed it against her throat and threatened to kill her. The next day Mims threatened the victim again and told her that he would kill one of her family members if she spoke to law enforcement. After receiving a tip that the victim was assaulted, members of the OCHTTF began investigating the case and arrested Mims. Mims was found guilty by a jury on felony charges of human trafficking, pimping, pandering, aggravated assault, criminal threats, dissuading a witness by force or threat, and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements of criminal street gang activity. He was sentenced to 17 years to life in state prison and mandatory sex offender registration.
PEOPLE V. GUIZAR
In February 2016, Guizar met the 15-year-old victim in Los Angeles County, and trafficked her to areas known for prostitution in Orange County. Throughout the month, the defendant also pimped four additional women and trafficked two with one being a 17-year-old girl. Guizar introduced the 15-year-old victim to four other girls whom he called "escorts". He rented motel rooms for the victims to use to engage in prostitution. Between February 8, 2016 and February 13, 2016, at a motel, Guizar raped and sodomized the 15-year-old victim while in possession of a gun. He then proceeded to take photos of the victim and posted them on prostitution ads. The minor victim then met with the sex purchasers and was forced to give all of her money to Guizar.
On February 10, 2016, family members of the 15-year-old victim contacted their local police department to report their concerns about the victim. Member of the OCHTTF began investigating the case, and with the assistance of the LA Regional Human Trafficking Task Force and FBI Innocence Lost Task Force, the victim was located in the city of Bellflower. Further investigation resulted in information about the additional victims in this case. On February 11, 2016, Task Force Investigators located, and subsequently arrested the defendant at a hotel in Anaheim. At the time of the arrest, Guizar had additional young adult victims working for him.
Only July 18, 2017 Guizar pled guilty to felony charges of human trafficking, pimping, pandering, forcible rape, sodomy of a minor, furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was sentenced to 31 years to state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. Additional federal charges were were pending for Guizar on separate violations.
"Through this criminal court case I was able to provide one of the victims with emotional support during her ups and downs. As her Advocate, I helped her celebrate her birthday, get her driver's license, and when she needed emergency referrals I was able to help her with housing and clothes. In this case, victim services and law enforcement were able to brainstorm different ways with her to help her get through the emotional aspect of the trauma and addiction. Even after the case, the victim continued to reach out for emotional support and resources no matter what county she is in." - Victim Advocate
PEOPLE V. CALHOUN
In May 2016, Calhoun met a 13-year-old victim and coerced her to engage in prostitution for his benefit. When Calhoun first met the victim he spent the day getting to know her and built a "relationship". Once he gained trust, Calhoun drove the victim up and down the state, forcing her to engage in prostitution and took all of the money. At approximately 3 am on June 2, 2016, the victim was located by the Santa Ana Police Department walking the streets appearing to be soliciting for prostitution. When the Santa Ana Police Department found the victim, she had a black eye, multiple bruises, and a scar on her arm, all caused by Calhoun. Upon further investigation, officers with the Santa Ana Police Department located and immediately arrested the trafficker that same night. During the investigation, they discovered evidence that Calhoun instructed the victim on who she could talk to and what to say, when to work, how much to charge, and what sex acts she was allowed to engage in.
On August 4, 2017, Calhoun was found guilty by a jury on felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, human trafficking of a minor, pimping and pandering of a minor, oral copulation of a child under 14, and lawful sexual intercourse. In addition, there were sentencing enhancements of human trafficking by force or fear and prior 2012 felony conviction for corporal injury upon a spouse or cohabitant in San Bernardino County. Calhoun was sentenced to 23 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.
"During the jury trial testimony, it was very important for the victim to have no only the emotional support, but also a familiar face to look at during the questioning. It was like she was talking to me, but someone else was asking the questions. It was important to be able to help distract her during the breaks so she was not constantly thinking about trial. Making her laugh and joking with her about life to help her feel some type of normalcy during the process was just what she needed. That was all the support she needed. Sometimes we didn't need words. All she needed was a warm body that was going to provide her with support that she felt she could count on and validate her frustrations." - Victim Advocate
PEOPLE V. DEARBORNE
Prior to July 4, 2015 Dearborne befriended the victim who was homeless. The defendant convinced the victim to watch a fireworks show with him for the Fourth of July. When the show was over, Dearborne refused to let the victim leave. The defendant forced the victim to orally copulate him, raped her, and took her to an area of Santa Ana known for human trafficking and prostitution. In the early morning hours of July 5, 2015, Dearborne arranged for a sex purchaser to receive oral copulation and have intercourse with the victim against her will in exchange for money which he kept himself. Afterwards, Dearborne brought the victim back to his car and fell asleep. The victim was able to make her escape and call 911. The Santa Ana Police Department arrested Dearborne at the scene. A second victim was later identified in the investigation, whom Dearborne pimped and pandered in Orange County between July 14, 2015 and May 15, 2015. At the time of the crime, Dearborne was a parolee on GPS monitoring. The defendant also admitted to a prior serious and violent felony strike conviction for rape of an unconscious person in 2010 in Orange County.
On November 16, 2016, Dearborne was found guilty by jury on felon counts of forcible rape in concert with force or fear, oral copulation in concert with force or fear, pimping, pandering, human trafficking, kidnapping to commit rape, and second degree robbery. At Dearborne's sentencing on March 6, 2017, the victim wrote a power victim impact statement to the court detailing the effect of the heinous crime that she bravely reported.
"I've been thinking about what I want to say. How I want to say it. And every time I have something, it's just not right. Now I think have something, but I know I will never be satisfied with the answer. My question is Why? Why me? Why ruin my life? Why torture me? The pain and trauma I had to feel, I don't want to put onto someone else, but why did it have to be me?
I was happy. I was fine. Yeah, my relationships sucked, but I was working on leaving him. Can you answer me that Mr. Dearborne? Can you answer me why you decided to take an innocent girl, manipulate later, rape her, and sell her body without permission? Cause that's what you did to me and the sick part is you were ok with it. You are mentally unstable person. And I hope that whatever punishment the judge sees fit for you, you get professional help as well. You turn yourself around for the better. I don't wish you any harm, although I'm sure others do. I don't wish any harm on your family either. I just wish for you and your family to come to terms with what you are and the fact that you need help."
I'm sorry things had to be the way they are for me. I wish back then I was stronger. You know how the hairs on the back of your neck stand up when you're scared. Well, I'm sure you've never felt that, but the moment I got into your car I felt that. But I didn't want to die. I fought you the best way I could. I thank God every day for giving me the strength that night. I'm sure I'll never get the answers and I'm sure I'll never find complete closure. But that's ok. Knowing you will be locked up for a long time is quite enough for me. I'm sorry I just rambled here, but there's a lot I want to say but I feel this is enough."
Dearborne was sentenced to 233 years to life in state prison. After the sentencing, the Victim Advocate followed up with the victim and stated that the victim expressed her relief. She was very happy. It had been nearly two years and it was finally over.
One of the lead investigators on the case told probation the following in a report, "In 24 years of police service, this is one of the top three most vicious, callous and cruel criminals I have ever encountered. He was well-practiced, disciplined, and knew exactly how to target vulnerable and disenfranchised victims. He is frighteningly cold and a person of such cruel and monstrous behavior be subjected to the longest period in custody."