For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN WAS SENTENCED TODAY TO FOUR YEARS IN STATE PRISON FOR PROCURING WOMEN TO ENGAGE IN COMMERCIAL SEX FOR HIS BENEFIT
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to four years in state prison for procuring women to engage in commercial sex for his benefit. Marcus Jamar Smith, 28, San Bernardino, pleaded guilty to a court offer June 26, 2013, to one felony count of pimping and one felony count of pandering by procuring.
Circumstances of the Case
Smith is a pimp/modern-day slave owner who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. At approximately 4:00 a.m. on Aug. 9, 2012, Smith drove to a known prostitution area in Santa Ana with three women and dropped them off at the location. An undercover Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officer approached one of the women and solicited her for sex. Upon further investigation, officers learned that Smith procured the women and collected the money they earned from engaging in commercial sex acts. The SAPD arrested Smith at a nearby location and found more than $2,600 on his person.
Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” assigning seats in the car based on “rank,” and setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. 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.
This case was investigated by SAPD and Deputy District Attorney Danny Varon of the HEAT Unit prosecuted 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.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Human Exploitation And Trafficking (HEAT) Unit 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.