November 18, 2016
Case # 15WF2518
MAN CONVICTED AND SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND UNLAWFUL SEX WITH 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted and sentenced yesterday to 14 years and eight months in prison for human trafficking and having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl. Antonio Romano Caserta, 26, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty yesterday, Nov. 17, 2016, to one felony count of human trafficking of a minor, one felony count of dissuading a witness by force or threat, one felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse, and one felony count of committing a lewd act upon a child. In addition to prison, Caserta was sentenced to mandatory lifetime sex offender registration.
Circumstances of the Case
Between Feb. 22, 2014, and March 14, 2014, the defendant began grooming then 14-year-old Jane Doe and had unlawful sex with the victim on numerous occasions.
On Nov. 13, 2014, Caserta was convicted and sentenced to six years and one month in state prison for furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse, and sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor in Orange County (Case # 14WF1153).
Between November 2014, and June 2015, the defendant continued his relationship with Jane Doe while he was in custody, including having approximately 1,400 phone calls with the victim. Caserta is accused of making sexually explicit remarks and encouraging Jane Doe to talk about sex with him on the phone. The defendant is accused of instructing Jane Doe about how to solicit commercial sex and persuading the victim to engage in commercial sex acts for his benefit. Caserta is accused of convincing Jane Doe to perform financial transactions for him outside of prison custody and threatening her to prevent her from reporting their interactions.
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 the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The OCHTTF is a partnership between the Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, HBPD, Irvine Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and community and non-profit partners.
Deputy District Attorney Brad Schoenleben of the HEAT Unit prosecuted this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
To read more about California’s anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 and the OCDA’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.