|For Immediate Release
Case # 13NF1040 June 13, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
FIRST MAN SENTENCED IN ORANGE COUNTY UNDER PROP 35 TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING OF FEMALE VICTIM
*Co-defendant convicted and sentenced for conspiracy to commit pimping in this case
FULLERTON – The first defendant in Orange County to be convicted of human trafficking under California’s Proposition 35 (Prop 35) was sentenced yesterday to eight years in state prison for trafficking a woman into Orange County and forcing her into prostitution. Mark Wesley Anderson, 27, Seattle, WA, pleaded guilty June 12, 2013, to one felony count each of human trafficking of an adult and possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Co-defendant Jaeleesa Jaemika Smith, 25, Salem, OR, pleaded guilty June 12, 2013, to one felony count of conspiracy to commit pimping and was sentenced to three years of formal probation and four years in state prison suspended pending completion of probation. The Orange County District Attorney gave this defendant consideration based on the fact that Smith was emotionally manipulated by Anderson and was less criminally culpable in this case.
“This defendant treated another human with less respect than one would treat livestock. He promised romance and a vacation, but instead isolated her, instilled fear, withheld food and sleep, made her perform sex act after sex after with random men, and be forever infamously memorialized on the Internet with embarrassing pictures. This defendant not only stole her money and food stamps, he tried to steal her dignity,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “And Smith helped a man prey on another woman and carry out his dirty deeds. I am grateful to the People of California for giving us the tools to go after these bottom feeders and the mandate that exploitation and trafficking of human beings will be prosecuted with vigor. ”
Circumstances of the Case
Anderson is a pimp/human trafficker and Smith worked for him as a prostitute and recruiting other women to prostitute for Anderson. In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps exploit women and/or children for financial gain and often assign ranks to the women they exploit. They often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical or emotional abuse. Smith was the highest-ranking of Anderson’s prostitutes.
In November 2012, Anderson met 30-year-old Jane Doe at her place of employment in another state. He befriended the victim with the intention of procuring her as a prostitute. Jane Doe believed that she had a romantic relationship with the defendant and refused when he tried to recruit her as a prostitute.
In March 2013, Anderson transported the victim to another state under the pretense of a vacation. He drove Jane Doe, Smith, and two other women to Idaho. Anderson and Smith told the victim that they were short on money and that she had to make money as a prostitute. Anderson had previously been violent toward another woman by beating her with a wire hanger, causing the vulnerable and isolated Jane Doe to be fearful of the defendant.