SANTA ANA, Calif. – A felon was charged yesterday with pimping and pandering a woman while out on bail for another pimping-related crime. Rico Christopher Clayton, 29, Carson, is charged with one felony count each of pimping and pandering by procuring with sentencing enhancements for crime-bail-crime and prior strike convictions for first degree burglary in 2007 in Orange County. If convicted, Clayton faces a maximum of 15 years in state prison.
Circumstances of the Case
Clayton is accused of being a pimp who exploits women for financial gain. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp.
At the time of the crime, Clayton was out of custody on bail for another pimping-related case in Los Angeles County from March 2016.
Prior to Feb. 8, 2017, the defendant is accused of recruiting the victim, Jane Doe, to engage in commercial sex for his benefit in areas known for prostitution in Orange County. Clayton is accused of posting sexually explicit advertisements of the victim on websites known for soliciting commercial sex. The defendant is accused of keeping the money Jane Doe received from sex purchasers for himself.
On Feb. 8, 2017, members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) contacted Jane Doe through an advertisement that was posted on a website known for prostitution and arranged to meet with the victim. Clayton is accused of dropping off the victim at a motel in Fullerton in order to meet with the undercover officer. During their investigation, the defendant is accused of calling and texting the victim. Clayton is accused of sending text messages to the victim containing language consistent with pimping the victim.
Clayton was identified by OCHTTF and subsequently charged by Orange County District Attorney's Office (OCDA). He is currently in-custody in Los Angeles after having been convicted of attempted-pimping and felony criminal threats and is awaiting transfer to Orange County jail.
Members of the OCHTTF and the OCDA work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Irvine Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.
Deputy District Attorney Kelly Manley of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
To read more about California's anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 and the OCDA's Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.
Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17CF0540 / March 7, 2017