Recently, a convicted drug dealer was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for pimping a 14-year-old girl in Orange County’s first case since California passed new laws that increased the penalties for human trafficking. Chuncey Tarae Garcia, was convicted of one count of human trafficking and one count of pimping a minor under the age of 16.
While working as a dancer in an Arizona strip club, the underage girl met Cierra Melissa Robinson, a prostitute who worked for Garcia. Robinson introduced the girl to Garcia, who forced the girl to prostitute herself in Buena Park and Anaheim. Garcia also posted photos of the girl on prostitution websites. He took all of the money she made and would not allow her to eat if she did not earn enough.
The police uncovered Garcia’s operation when they pulled his car over for having a broken taillight. Garcia, Robinson, the underage girl and another woman were inside the car. The police became suspicious when they noticed a young-looking girl in an area known for prostitution. Garcia and Robinson were arrested. The underage girl was identified as a missing person and taken into protective custody.
California’s Human Trafficking Laws (California Penal Code Section 236.1)
California’s tougher human trafficking laws were passed under Prop 35 in 2012 with 81.1% voter approval. The new human trafficking laws expanded its definition to include the distribution of child pornography and increased prison sentences and fines for a human trafficking conviction.
Under California law, human trafficking is defined as forcing, coercing or transporting someone for the purpose of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.
Consequences of a Human Trafficking Conviction
Under California Penal Code Section 236.1, a conviction for human trafficking is a felony punishable by up to 12 years in state prison, more than double California’s previous maximum sentence for a human trafficking conviction. If you are convicted of human trafficking charge involving children, you could be sentenced up to life in prison.
The maximum fine for a first time human trafficking conviction is $1.5 million. The previous maximum fine was $100,000.
The laws also require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders and to disclose their internet activities and identities for the remainder of their lives.
Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is facing human trafficking charges, it is critical that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending persons charged with sex crimes. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.