Santa Ana, Orange County - An Oakland man was sentenced to four years in prison on Monday for pimping a 17-year-old girl to clients over the internet.
Deandre Levon Gant, 22, admitted in his guilty plea at the Central Justice Center that he accepted money from the teenage prostitute knowing that the cash came from sex acts, but he denied knowing the girl was underage.
Anaheim Police noticed details about their arrangement when they arrested the prostitute and checked text messages on her cellphone, according to court documents.
The teenager told Anaheim detectives that she gave Gant thousands of dollars and that he placed ads for her on the Internet and rented hotel rooms for her to host clients, including hotel rooms around the Disneyland area.
It's unclear if the teenager faced any prostitution charges, and it's also unclear if any of the "Johns" will be arrested for solicitation or lewd acts with a minor.
What is interesting is prostitution itself is only a misdemeanor while the crime of pimping is a felony, explains Santa Ana criminal attorney Michael L. Guisti.
The main reason for this has more to do with the fact the many prostitutes who have pimps are often being forced and held against their will to perform sex acts and collect money for their pimp, explains Guisti.
Basically, says Guisti, in this situation prostitutes are seen more as victims than criminals, especially if they're underage, which is why the district attorney is more prone to go after the pimp rather than charging the prostitute.
The crime of pimping is, Guisti explains, when you find customers for a prostitute and then collect some or all of the prostitute's pay or you collected some or all of a prostitute's pay regardless if you found the customer.
A lot of massage parlor owners and managers, especially in Westminster and Garden Grove, get into trouble when they're employees perform "an extra service," and, Guisti explains, these owners and managers may not always know what's going on, but they're arrested because they, often times, collect money from the employees.
They've been cases where massage parlor owners "look the other way" or ignore what's happening, or simply have no idea what's happening, but, Guisti stresses, as long as the employees gave some or all the money over to the owner and/or manager that is considered pimping.
As to the case of prostitutes being underage, sometimes in police investigations if the prostitute, or prostitutes, is underage investigators will try to track down "Johns" and attempt to arrest and charge them with solicitation and lewd acts with a minor, explains Guisti.
In these situations it can be difficult to prove a "John" engaged in the act, but, Guisti stresses, with a lot of prostitution online they're ways to to connect the prostitute and "John."
If you've been arrested for pimping, pandering,or other sex crime you must contact our Orange County prostitution attorney expert at the Law Offices of Michael L. Guisti.
For over a decade we've won difficult sex crime cases for our clients in the Orange County courts of, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Westminster and Newport Beach.
So please, call us now!