For twenty-five years now, I've been handling sex-related offenses in the Orange County jurisdiction. There are multiple courts there and they have a lot of sex-crime cases there, partially because of Disneyland.
There are a lot of teenage girls in that area and Orange County has a special task force that basically deals with all the sex-related offenses in that area, and they are like an iron fist there because they do not want any type of sex-related offenses or sex trafficking offenses in Orange County because of Disneyland and because of the money that Disneyland brings to the Orange County area.
So, they've got a special unit with police officers and prosecutors who basically just deal with sex trafficking offenses related to young girls being either shipped or sold across the United States or even internationally, also related to internet crimes – sex trafficking, sex-related offenses where girls are basically used by pimps and individuals who are making millions of dollars off of sex trafficking activity in the Orange County area. These individuals advertise the girls and are basically using them to get money for sex-related trafficking offenses.
So, when it comes to sex trafficking, the prosecutors have a lot of teeth. Some of these Penal Code sections that have been enacted related to sex trafficking offenses carry huge amounts of time. Pimping and pandering basically has a three-year minimum and also a human sex trafficking conviction have a five-year mandatory minimum in prison. So, they're really not messing around when it comes to these sex-related offenses.
What Are Some Defenses to Some of the Sex Trafficking Crimes in Orange County?
One defense is that I see a lot of these young women doing this themselves. In other words, they're advertising themselves. They're actually doing the sex offenses and if they have any connection to any men that are older than them, then the police automatically assume that the man is involved in some sort of sex trafficking offense, has coerced the young girl, and then they charge them with the crime.
But a lot of times, once the evidence is brought out, once the things are broken down, they really don't have that evidence and a lot of these girls – for whatever reason – had decided to become involved in sex-related trafficking themselves where they're basically prostituting themselves out on the internet.
With the advent of the internet now, the sex trafficking has gone nation-wide and prosecutors, judges and police are taking a very hard stance on these crimes. They are making people who are convicted of a sex-related trafficking case register as a sex offender for the rest of their life, putting them in prison for as long as they possibly can and putting a bunch of other restrictions on them.
The defenses related to sex trafficking usually center around what happened with the case. In other words, the facts are crucial. There are certain elements that the prosecutors have to prove related to a sex trafficking offense in Orange County or anywhere in the United States. They basically include a young woman or even a young boy being under the age of 18.
Pimping and Pandering Charges
The individual who is going to be charged with the sex trafficking crime – pimping and pandering – or any of the offenses associated with that has got to be basically using that person in order to make money for sex.
If they can prove those two basic elements – of course, if gets a little more complicated than that depending on the circumstances – but those two basic elements of the person being underage, being used for sex and someone basically being in charge of them and calling the shots as it relates to the sex trafficking activities, that's going to be what the prosecutors really need to prove in order to get somebody for sex trafficking.
So, if you have a sex trafficking offense in Orange County, any of the courthouses there – Santa Ana, Fullerton, Laguna Nigel, Westminster – any of these Orange County courthouses that deal with these sex trafficking offenses, you're going to want to get an attorney who has been down this path before and can pull out all the stops to defend you and represent your best interests.
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