|For Immediate Release
September 5, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
THREE SEX PURCHASERS SENTENCED FOR SOLICITING SEX FROM WOMAN WHOM THEY BELIEVED TO BE A PROSTITUTE
SANTA ANA – Three sex purchasers were convicted and sentenced for soliciting sex from a woman whom they believed to be a prostitute. Omar Jesus Moreno, 35, and Ariel Castro, 42, both of Santa Ana, each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution. Both defendants were sentenced to three years of informal probation, 10 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education.
Mainor Miranda, 40, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to a court offer today to one misdemeanor count each of agreeing to engage in prostitution, driving a vehicle without a valid license, and failure to appear at a court hearing and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.
Between 1:15 a.m. and 7:40 p.m. on May 15, 2013, Castro and Moreno were arrested by officers from the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) for soliciting sex or sex acts from an undercover female officer, whom they believed to be a prostitute. The defendants drove up to an undercover female officer in the area of 1100 North Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana. Miranda was arrested at approximately 11:00 p.m. on June 10, 2013, by SAPD for the same conduct.
The area of North Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana is known to law enforcement to be a high-prostitution area and is known to frequently be used by individuals who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers.
These cases was prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’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. Commercial sex trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise behind narcotics trafficking. Often the perpetrators are gang members and/or career criminals.
The HEAT Unit also targets defendants who create a demand for prostitution by soliciting and purchasing sex, which increases the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. The HEAT Unit uses a tactical plan called PERP: Prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators and sex purchasers; Education for law enforcement to properly handle human trafficking and pandering cases; Resources to raise public awareness and provide assistance to the victims; and Publicity to inform the community about the problem and notify human traffickers and sex purchasers that this crime cannot be perpetrated without suffering severe consequences.