Case # TBA

Date: February 17, 2016


*Man also charged with forcible sexual assaults on minor

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A San Jose man and woman are scheduled to be arraigned today for the human trafficking, pimping, and pandering of a 15-year-old girl and three additional women using a firearm, intimidation, and/or drugs. Ariel Guizar, 35, and Araceli Mendoza Alvarez, 23, both of San Jose, are each charged with one felony count of human trafficking of a minor, one felony count of pimping a minor, one felony count of pandering with a minor under 16 years old by promise, threat or violence to become a prostitute, one felony count of using, inducing or furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, one felony count of pandering as an inmate in a house of prostitution, two felony counts of pimping, and one felony count of pandering as an inmate in a house of prostitution. Guizar is additionally charged with one felony count of forcible rape, one felony count of sodomy of a person under the age of 16, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon, one misdemeanor count of child endangerment by a caretaker with a sentencing enhancement allegation for the personal use of a firearm during the commission of a rape. Guizar is accused of having two prior felony convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon and obstructing or resisting a peace officer in Santa Clara County in 2009. If convicted, Alvarez faces a maximum sentence of 19 years in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. If convicted, Guizar faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration. Guizar and Alvarez are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon, Feb. 17, 2016, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

Circumstances of the Case

Guizaris accused of being a human trafficker/pimp and Alvarezis accused of aiding and abetting Guizar to carry out the crimes as well as working for him as a prostitute and recruiting other women to prostitute for Guizar. In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps exploit women and/or children for financial gain often assign ranks to the women they exploit. The 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. Alvarez is accused of being the highest-ranking of Guizar’s prostitutes.

In February 2016, Guizar and Alvarez are accused of meeting 15-year-old Jane Doe 1 in Los Angeles County and trafficking her to areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange County. Alvarez is accused of instructing Jane Doe 1 about prostitution including how much to charge. Guizar and Alvarez are accused of keeping the money that Jane Doe 1 received from performing commercial sex acts and intimidating the victim. The defendants are also accused of furnishing methamphetamine to Jane Doe 1.

Between Feb. 8, 2016, and Feb. 13, 2016, Guizar is accused of sexually assaulting Jane Doe 1, including forcibly raping and sodomizing the victim. Guizar is accused of possessing a firearm and forcing the victim to engage in commercial sex acts.

During that time, the defendants are accused of pimping Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, and Jane Doe 4 in Orange County and taking the money that the victims received from sex purchasers for commercial sex acts. The defendants are accused of renting motel rooms for the victims to use to engage in commercial sex. Guizar is accused of being the caretaker of 4-month-old Baby Doe and endangering the infant by using methamphetamine in a hotel room in Orange County.

On Feb. 10, 2016, family members of Jane Doe 1 contacted their local police department to report their concerns about the victim. Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) began investigating this case, and with the assistance of the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Innocence Lost Task Force, and Anaheim Police Department (APD), located Jane Doe 1 in the city of Bellflower. Further investigation resulted in information about the three additional victims in this case.

On Feb. 11, 2016, members of the OCHTTF located and subsequently arrested the defendants at a hotel in Anaheim.

Members of the OCHTTF and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office 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, FBI, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, 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.