SANTA ANA, Calif. – A convicted felon has been charged for pimping and pandering a woman and carrying a loaded firearm in public. Andrew Michael Meteau, 29, Pomona, is charged with one felony count of pimping, one felony count of pandering, one felony count of carrying a loaded firearm in public with a prior conviction, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon, and sentencing enhancement allegations for two prior felony convictions for carrying a loaded firearm in public in 2005 in Los Angeles County and possession of a firearm by a felon in 2012 in San Bernardino County and not remaining free for a period of five years of both prison custody and the commission of his two prior felonies. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years and eight months in state prison. He was arraigned Nov. 24, 2015, and is being held on $100,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. He is scheduled for pre-trial Dec. 4, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the CaseMeteau is accused of being a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. 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.
At approximately midnight on Nov. 22, 2015, Meteau is accused of driving 22-year-old Jane Doe to an area known for prostitution and human trafficking in Santa Ana to have her engage in commercial sex for his benefit. He is accused of arguing with the victim outside his vehicle that was illegally stopped in the street. Meteau is accused of pulling out a loaded firearm from his waistband and giving it to the victim.
A Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officer in the area detained the defendant and the victim after seeing the illegally parked vehicle and the exchange. SAPD recovered a loaded firearm nearby and the defendant is accused of possessing identification cards belonging to multiple women.
Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (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 SAPD and OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine 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 HEATIn 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 # 15CF2635 / November 30, 2015