Case # 15CF1451

Date: April 27, 2016


SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was convicted yesterday of assaulting and trafficking a woman from Colorado to Orange County and holding her against her own will to work for the defendant as a commercial sex worker and attempting to pimp and pander another woman in Los Angeles County. Telonious Lamar Taylor, Victorville, 39, was found guilty by a jury yesterday, April 26, 2016, of one felony count of attempted pimping, two felony counts of pandering by promise, threat, or violence to become a prostitute, one felony count of human trafficking, one felony count of pimping, one felony count of criminal threats, one felony count of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, and one misdemeanor count of false imprisonment and sentencing enhancements for two prior prison convictions in Los Angeles County for reckless evading of a peace officer in 2001 and being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2005. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison at his sentencing June 3, 2016, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-37, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case
Taylor is a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. Victims are often 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 physical and/or emotional abuse.

At approximately 1:20 p.m. on April 14, 2014, an undercover Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) detective saw Taylor, along with two other men, attempt to pimp and pander Jane Doe 1 in an area known for prostitution and human trafficking. The detective witnessed Taylor and the two men surround Jane Doe 1 in a circle, blocking her path of travel, and attempting to lead her against her will to a van parked nearby with an open sliding door. After approximately 10 minutes of keeping Jane Doe 1 detained against her will, Jane Doe 1 managed to break away from the blockade. The LASD detective then saw Taylor and the two other men immediately attempt to recruit two other women in the same manner until other deputies arrived and arrested them. LASD went into the van and found another man inside as well as a woman wearing revealing clothing and possessing multiple brands of condoms.

Approximately one year later, around April 9, 2015, and April 16, 2016, Taylor persuaded 30-year-old Jane Doe 2, who was soliciting commercial sex in Colorado on a website known for prostitution, that she would be able to make more money engaging in commercial sex in California by working with the defendant. Taylor agreed to be her driver in exchange for a portion of the money she made from commercial sex using the Internet. When Jane Doe 2 arrived in Southern California, Taylor took all of Jane Doe 2’s personal property and forced her to solicit commercial sex in the streets in Pomona by pointing a gun to her head and threatening to kill her if she refused. Taylor then took photographs of Jane Doe 2 and posted them on a website known for prostitution and soliciting commercial sex throughout Southern California.

A few days later, Taylor along with one of the two other men involved in the April 14, 2014, incident, drove Jane Doe 2 to Orange County to have her solicit commercial sex. Jane Doe 2 attempted to escape from the defendant after he found out she kept some of the money she earned for herself. After taking the money which Jane Doe 2 attempted to withhold from the defendant, Taylor shoved Jane Doe 2 onto the motel bed, straddled her, and began strangling her. Jane Doe 2 was able to break free and call 911. Deputies from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) arrived at the scene but were unable to locate the defendant. OCSD referred the case to the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF). Approximately one week later, OCHTTF located and arrested Taylor in Montclair.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office (OCDA) is prosecuting both cases with agreement from Los Angeles County.

Members of 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 the Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, OCDA, OCSD, Santa Ana Police Department and community and non-profit partners.

Deputy District Attorney Bryan Clavecilla of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.

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.