ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY NEWS RELEASE
December 7, 2016
Case # 16WF1916
WESTMINSTER, Calif. – A Los Angeles felon is facing additional charges for human trafficking and pimping four victims, including a 13-year-old girl, and filming the sexual assault of a 15-year-old victim. James Dennis Lyle, 29, Walnut, was charged on Aug. 25, 2016, with one felony count each of human trafficking of a minor, human trafficking, oral copulation of a minor under 16, sodomy of a person under the age of 16, unlawful sexual intercourse, pimping a minor, pandering a minor under 16 by procuring, pimping, and pandering, with a sentencing enhancement for human trafficking by force or fear. Lyle was additionally charged today with one felony count each of human trafficking a minor, pimping a minor, pandering a minor under 16 by procuring, pimping, pandering, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, and possession and control of child pornography, with a sentencing enhancement for a prior strike conviction for second degree burglary in Los Angeles in 2012. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 56 years and four months in state prison. He is being held on $2 million bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 9, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-2, West Justice Center, Westminster.
Circumstances of the Case
Lyle is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” assigning seats in the car based on “rank,” and setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are 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 deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.
Between July 1, 2016, and Aug. 22, 2016, Lyle is accused of possessing pornographic images of children.
Between July 19, 2016, and July 22, 2016, the defendant is accused of pimping and pandering Jane Doe 1 by arranging for the victim to solicit commercial sex in areas of Orange County known for human trafficking and prostitution.
During the same timeframe, Lyle is also accused of meeting a minor runaway, 13-year-old Jane Doe 2, and posing her for photos at a motel in Garden Grove. The defendant is accused of taking money the young teen victim received from sex purchasers throughout Orange County.
On July 22, 2016, the defendant is accused of driving Jane Doe 2 to Los Angeles where he conspired to abandon the victim on a street unknown to her. After she was thrown from the car, the defendant is accused of using his cell phone to film the victim being punched and slammed repeatedly into the pavement by a woman.
On Aug. 1, 2016, Lyle is accused of sexually assaulting 15-year-old Jane Doe 3 and recording videos of himself sodomizing the victim and forcing her to orally copulate him. The defendant is also accused of having unlawful sex with the minor on at least one other occasion.
Between Aug. 1, 2016, and Aug. 22, 2016, Lyle is accused of posting sexually explicit advertisements of Jane Doe 3 and 26-year-old Jane Doe 4 on websites known for soliciting commercial sex. The defendant is accused of arranging for the victims to engage in prostitution throughout Orange County and taking the money they received from sex purchasers for himself.
The Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) investigated this case and located and arrested Lyle in late August 2016. The defendant is accused of possessing photos and videos of the victims on his electronic devices.
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. This case was investigated by GGPD and OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, 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 Daniel Varon 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.
TONY RACKAUCKAS, District Attorney
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff
Public Affairs Unit