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Seven men convicted for trying to solicit sex from prostitutes in Santa Ana


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Orange County District Attorney Press Release

For Immediate Release: August 27, 2013

SEVEN SEX PURCHASERS CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR SOLICITING COMMERCIAL SEX

SANTA ANA – Seven sex purchasers were convicted and sentenced yesterday, Aug. 26, 2013, for soliciting commercial sex from women in exchange for money. Primitivo Nava, 41, Santa Ana, Israel Ruiz, 29, Garden Grove, Jesus Flores, 39, Santa Ana, and Jonathan Perralta, 21, Westminster, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution and were sentenced to three years of informal probation, 10 to 15 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education.

David Flores, 32, Aliso Viejo, Pedro Gonzalez, 33, Garden Grove, and German Lopez, 41, Garden Grove, pleaded guilty yesterday to one misdemeanor count of agreeing to engage in prostitution. Flores and Gonzalez also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid driver license and Pedro Gonzalez pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended or revoked license. David Flores and Lopez were sentenced to three years of informal probation, 10 days in jail with the possibility of CalTrans in lieu of jail, and must submit to AIDS testing and education. Gonzalez was sentenced 45 days in jail, three years of informal probation, and must submit to AIDS testing and education.

Between May 15, 2013 and June 10, 2013, defendants David Flores, Gonzalez, Lopez, Peralta, and Ruiz, were arrested as part of a covert operation by the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD). The defendants approached an undercover officer, whom they believed to be a prostitute, in the area of Harbor Boulevard and along East First Street in Santa Ana. The defendants solicited sex in exchange for money with the undercover officer.

On June 17, 2013, Jesus Flores drove up to a woman, whom he believed to be a prostitute, standing in a hotel parking lot in Santa Ana. Flores briefly spoke with the woman before she entered his vehicle and they drove off together. An SAPD officer, who witnessed the interaction, stopped the vehicle and arrested Flores for soliciting sex.

On June 18, 2013, Nava agreed and paid for commercial sex acts from a woman, whom he believed to be a prostitute, inside a Santa Ana hotel room. An undercover SAPD officer, posing as a sex purchaser, waited inside the hotel room and witnessed money being exchanged between the woman and the defendant and arrested Nava for soliciting sex.

The area of Harbor Boulevard and East First Street is known to law enforcement to be a high-prostitution area frequently used by individuals who sexually exploit and traffic women and underage girls for financial gain, including pimps, panderers, and human traffickers.

These cases were prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’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. Commercial sex trafficking is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise behind narcotics trafficking. Often the perpetrators are gang members and/or career criminals.

The HEAT Unit also targets defendants who create a demand for prostitution by soliciting and purchasing sex, which increases the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. The HEAT Unit uses a tactical plan called PERP: Prosecution of human trafficking perpetrators and sex purchasers; Education for law enforcement to properly handle human trafficking and pandering cases; Resources to raise public awareness and provide assistance to the victims; and Publicity to inform the community about the problem and notify human traffickers and sex purchasers that this crime cannot be perpetrated without suffering severe consequences.

The OCDA announced in April 2013 that he will publicize the names of defendants convicted of sexually exploiting women or children by soliciting sex acts as part of the campaign to reduce the demand for human exploitation and trafficking.

These cases were investigated by SAPD and Deputy District Attorney Michael Bardeen of the HEAT Unit prosecuted these cases.

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Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701

Contacts:

Susan Kang Schroeder Chief of Staff Office: 714-347-8408 Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami Spokesperson Office: 714-347-8405 Cell: 714-323-4486


 
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