Case # 15NF1695
Date: June 22, 2015
MAN CHARGED FOR USING FACEBOOK IN ATTEMPT TO RECRUIT TWO UNDERAGE TEENAGE GIRLS TO WORK AS PROSTITUTES
*The underage teenage girls in this case were accounts belonging to an undercover officer
SANTA ANA – A man was charged today for using Facebook in an attempt to recruit an undercover officer posing as two underage teenage girls, to work for him as prostitutes. Donald Levan Clark, 25, is charged with two felony counts of attempted human trafficking of a minor, two felony counts of attempted pimping of a minor, and one felony count of pandering. He faces sentencing enhancements for a prior strike conviction for committing a 2011 robbery in Los Angeles County and a prior prison conviction for a 2013 false imprisonment in Los Angeles County and serving a separate prison term of one year and more and not remaining free for a period of five years. If convicted, Clark faces a maximum sentence of 15 years and eight months in state prison. He is being held on $100,00 bail and must prove the funds are from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Clark was arraigned today and is scheduled for pre-trial on June 30, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Circumstances of the Case
Clark 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.
Between May 27, 2015, and June 17, 2015, Clark is accused of using Facebook and contacting 17-year-old Jane Doe 1, who was an undercover officer, to work for the defendant as a prostitute. Clark is accused of ordering Jane Doe 1 to pay him a fee in order to work as a prostitute for the defendant.
On June 17, 2015, the defendant is accused of contacting Jane Doe 1 on Facebook to have Jane Doe 1 contact the fictitious Facebook account of 16-year-old Jane Doe 2 to recruit Jane Doe 2 as a prostitute for the defendant.
Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between the Anaheim Police Department, 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 Brad Schoenleben of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
In November 2012, California’s anti-human trafficking 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.