Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 14CF1712: May 23, 2014
PAROLEE SEX OFFENDER ON GPS MONITORING ARRAIGNED ON CHARGES OF PIMPING AND PANDERING 18-YEAR-OLD WOMAN
SANTA ANA – A parolee sex offender on GPS monitoring was arraigned today on charges of pimping and pandering an 18-year-old woman. Eddie Bridges, 36, Compton, was charged today with one felony count each of pimping and pandering by procuring and sentencing enhancements for serving separate prison terms and not remaining free for five years: two prior convictions in 1996 and 1998 in King County, WA, for possession with intent to sell a controlled substance, one prior conviction for possession of marijuana in Maricopa County, Ariz., one prior conviction in Los Angeles County in 2007 for pandering of a minor, and one prior conviction in Los Angeles County in 2011 for attempted pandering. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison. He is being held on $100,000 bail and must prove the money is from a legal and legitimate source before posting bond. Bridges was arraigned today and is scheduled for pre-trial on June 3, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Circumstances of the Case
Bridges is accused of being a pimp who exploits women and/or children for financial gain. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow such as addressing the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy.”
At the time of the crime, Bridges was a parolee and a registered sex offender.
Between May 17, 2014, and May 21, 2014, Bridges is accused of driving Jane Doe to Santa Ana to an area known for prostitution with the intent of having the victim engage in commercial sex. The defendant is accused of pimping Jane Doe by unlawfully deriving support from the victim through the earnings and proceeds of prostitution and pandering Jane Doe by unlawfully procuring her for the purpose of prostitution.
At approximately 3:50 a.m. on May 21, 2014, a Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officer observed the victim actively soliciting sex purchasers in the area. SAPD contacted Jane Doe and began investigating this case. During the investigation, SAPD located the defendant in a nearby car. The defendant is accused of being identified as Jane Doe’s pimp and was arrested at the scene.
This case was investigated by SAPD and Deputy District Attorney Brad Schoenleben of the HEAT Unit is prosecuting this case.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
In 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.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Human Exploitation And Trafficking (HEAT) Unit 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; and Publicity, 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.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff