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July 10, 2015

MAN CHARGED WITH HUMAN TRAFFICKING, PANDERING, AND ATTEMPTED PIMPING OF UNDERCOVER OFFICER POSING AS 17-YEAR-OLD GIRL

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — fayarfa @ 2:16 am

FULLERTON – A man has been charged for human trafficking, pandering, and the attempted pimping of an undercover officer posing as a 17-year-old girl. Alfonso Kee Kee Peterson, 28, Compton, is charged with one felony count of human trafficking of a minor, one felony count of pandering by procuring, and one felony count of attempted pimping. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison. Peterson is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing July 15, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

Circumstances of the Case

Peterson is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims.

Peterson is accused of using a social networking website to recruit girls and women to work for him as prostitutes. On June 19, 2015, Peterson is accused of interacting with an undercover police officer, Jane Doe, posing as a 17-year-old girl on the site with the intent of recruiting Jane Doe to engage in commercial sex for his benefit. Peterson is accused of pandering to Jane Doe by promising to take care of her and transporting her to areas known for prostitution and human trafficking in Orange and Los Angeles County.

On July 2, 2015, Peterson is accused of telling Jane Doe to meet him at an El Pollo Loco in the city of Long Beach and promising to transport her to engage in commercial sex that evening.

The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) investigated this case and arrested the defendant at the proposed meeting location with the assistance of officers from the Los Angeles Police Department.

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. The OCHTTF is a partnership between the Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s 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; andPublicity, 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.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 15NF1847 / July 8, 2015

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