Case # 15NF1059


Date: September 2, 2015


*Charges in this case filed after further investigation in defendant’s open human trafficking case

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A former car broker is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for pandering and attempting to pimp a woman. The charges in this case are a result of a further investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) and Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) in the defendant’s open human trafficking case. Johnny Lee Guyton Jr., 46, Garden Grove, is charged with one felony count of attempted pimping, one felony count of pandering by procuring, and sentencing enhancement for prior strike convictions for attempted kidnapping in Multnomah County, Oregon in 1992, and third degree rape in Clark County, Washington in 1989. If convicted, Guyton faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison. Guyton is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Sept. 3, 2015, at 9:15 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

On April 21, 2015, Guyton was charged in case 15NF1059 with two felony counts of human trafficking, two felony counts of pimping, two felony counts of pandering and the same sentencing enhancements listed above. If convicted in this case, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. Guyton is scheduled for a jury trial tomorrow, Sept. 3, 2015, at 9:15 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center.

Circumstances of Case 15NF2346

Guyton is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims.  The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.

In August 2014, Guyton is accused of pandering Jane Doe 1 by persuading her to perform commercial sex acts for his benefit in Santa Ana. The defendant is accused attempting to force the victim to solicit commercial sex and verbally threatening her with violence if she did not give him all of the money she received from sex purchasers.

Circumstances of Case 15NF1059

Around Dec. 1, 2014, the defendant is accused of using a social media messaging service to contact, Jane Doe 2, who was living in South Dakota, with the intent of persuading her to engage in commercial sex acts for his benefit. Guyton is accused of pandering Jane Doe 2 by sending her pictures of mansions and luxury vehicles and telling her that she could improve her life if she would engage in commercial sex acts.

Between Dec. 1, 2014, and April 18, 2015, Guyton is accused of pandering Jane Doe 2 by paying for her to take a bus to meet him in Nevada. Guyton is accused of trafficking and pimping Jane Doe 2 by having her solicit commercial sex in areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Nevada, Anaheim, and Santa Ana. The defendant is accused of depriving Jane Doe 2 of her liberty by making false promises and threatening to keep her child from her if she did not meet the quotas that he set.

In April 2015, Guyton is accused of meeting Jane Doe 3 and pandering her by promising to buy her clothing and beauty services if she engaged in commercial sex. The defendant is accused of trafficking Jane Doe 3 in areas known for prostitution in Orange County. Guyton is accused of forcing Jane Doe 3 to engage in commercial sex acts by threatening her with violence, including threatening to cut off her head if she did not follow the rules or meet the quotas that he set.

Around April 18, 2015, Jane Doe 2 reported the crime to a family member, who then contacted the Anaheim Police Department (APD). APD and the OCHTTF investigated this case and arrested the defendant that day.

Members of the OCHTTF and OCDA work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between APD, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and community and non-profit partners.

Deputy District Attorney Bryan Clavecilla of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting these cases.

Proposition 35 and HEAT

In November 2012, California’s anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 (Prop 35) was enacted in California with 81 percent of the vote, and over 82 percent of the vote in Orange County, to increase the penalty for human trafficking, particularly in cases involving the trafficking of a minor by force.

A component of the OCHTTF is the OCDA’s Human Exploitation And Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, which targets perpetrators who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers. The HEAT Unit uses a tactical plan called PERP: Prosecution, to bring justice for victims of human trafficking and hold perpetrators responsible using Prop 35; Education, to provide law enforcement training to properly handle human trafficking and pandering cases; Resources from public-private partnerships to raise public awareness about human trafficking and provide assistance to the victims; and Publicity, to inform the public and send a message to human traffickers that this crime cannot be perpetrated without suffering severe consequences.  

Under the law, human trafficking is described as depriving or violating the personal liberty of another person with the intent to effect a violation of pimping or pandering. Pimping is described as knowingly deriving financial support in whole or in part from the proceeds of prostitution.  Pandering is the act of persuading or procuring an individual to become a prostitute, or procuring and/or arranging for a person work in a house of prostitution.

Penal Code Section 236.1 defines:

(1) “Coercion” includes any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process; debt bondage; or providing and facilitating the possession of any controlled substance to a person with the intent to impair the person’s judgment.

(2) “Commercial sex act” means sexual conduct on account of which anything of value is given or received by any person.

(3) “Deprivation or violation of the personal liberty of another” includes substantial and sustained restriction of another’s liberty accomplished through force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to another person, under circumstances where the person receiving or apprehending the threat reasonably believes that it is likely that the person making the threat would carry it out.

(4) “Duress” includes a direct or implied threat of force, violence, danger, hardship, or retribution sufficient to cause a reasonable person to acquiesce in or perform an act which he or she would otherwise not have submitted to or performed; a direct or implied threat to destroy, conceal, remove, confiscate, or possess any actual or purported passport or immigration document of the victim; or knowingly destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, or possessing any actual or purported passport or immigration document of the victim.

(5) “Forced labor or services” means labor or services that are performed or provided by a person and are obtained or maintained through force, fraud, duress, or coercion, or equivalent conduct that would reasonably overbear the will of the person.

(6) “Great bodily injury” means a significant or substantial physical injury. 

(7) “Minor” means a person less than 18 years of age.

(8) “Serious harm” includes any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational harm, that is sufficiently serious, under all the surrounding circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same background and in the same circumstances to perform or to continue performing labor, services, or commercial sexual acts in order to avoid incurring that harm.

(i) The total circumstances, including the age of the victim, the relationship between the victim and the trafficker or agents of the trafficker, and any handicap or disability of the victim, shall be factors to consider in determining the presence of “deprivation or violation of the personal liberty of another,” “duress,” and “coercion” as described in this section.