|For Immediate Release
Case # 13WF0628
July 11, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
ADULT PROSTITUTE CONVICTED OF RECRUITING AND SEX TRAFFICKING 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL IN FIRST ORANGE COUNTY PROPOSITION 35 CASE
*Co-defendant pimp is charged with forcibly sex trafficking the victim
SANTA ANA – An adult prostitute was convicted today of recruiting and sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl into prostitution in the first Orange County case of human trafficking of a minor under Proposition 35 (Prop 35). Cierra Melissa Robinson, 28, was found guilty by a jury today, July 11, 2013, of one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor and pandering of a minor under 16 years old by procuring. She faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison at her sentencing Aug. 23, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. in Department C-39, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Chuncey Tarae Garcia, 33, is charged with one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor by force or fear, pimping a minor, and forcible rape, with sentencing enhancement allegations for forcible rape of a minor 14 years of age and prior prison convictions for possession for sale of cocaine in 2007 and transportation of cocaine in 2009. If convicted, Garcia faces a maximum sentence of 28 years to life in state prison. Garcia is scheduled for jury trial July 15, 2013, at 8:45 a.m. in Department C-5, Central Justice Center.
What is Prop 35?
The case against Garcia and Robinson is the first to be filed in Orange County following the passage of California’s anti-human trafficking Prop 35 in November 2012. Under the law, human trafficking is described as inducing, causing, persuading, or attempting to induce, cause, or persuade a person who is a minor to engage in a commercial sex act with the intent to effect a violation of pimping or pandering. Human trafficking by force or fear includes the use of force, fear, violence, duress, menace, threat of injury, coercion, fraud, or deceit in the commission of the crime.
Prop 35 was enacted in California with 81 percent of the vote, and received over 82 percent of the vote in Orange County. It increases the penalty for human trafficking, particularly in cases involving the trafficking of a minor by force. Prior to Prop 35, a conviction for human trafficking of a minor by force or fear carried a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison. Defendants convicted of the same crime under Prop 35 now face a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.
Circumstances of the Case
Garcia is accused of being a pimp and Robinson worked for him as a prostitute and recruited other women to prostitute for Garcia. In the primp/prostitution subculture, pimps often assign ranks to the women they exploit. They often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill, and assigning seats in the car based on “rank.” Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical or emotional abuse.