ORANGE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PRESS RELEASE
Case # 15CF0630
Date: June 20, 2016
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A parolee sex offender on a GPS monitoring device was sentenced Friday, June 17, 2016, to eight years in state prison for the pandering and attempted pimping of an 18-year-old woman. Eddie Bridges III, 38, Compton, was found guilty by a jury on July 29, 2015, of one felony count of attempted pimping and one felony count of pandering by procuring. The defendant’s sentencing enhancements for prior prison convictions in Los Angeles County in 2007 for the pimping and pandering of a minor, pimping and pandering of an adult, and a prior prison conviction in 2011 for attempted pandering, and serving separate prison terms but not remaining free for five years, were also found to be true.
Circumstances of the Case
Bridges is 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 wearing a GPS monitoring device as a parole condition and considered a high-risk registered sex offender.
Between May 17, 2014, and May 21, 2014, Bridges drove 18-year-old Jane Doe to Santa Ana to an area known for prostitution with the intent of having the victim engage in commercial sex. The defendant pandered Jane Doe by persuading the victim to engage in commercial sex for his benefit. Bridges also attempted to derive financial support from the victim through the earnings and proceeds 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 Bridges in a nearby car, and discovered a ticket in the vehicle that the victim had received in Los Angeles County on May 17, 2014, for loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution. SAPD identified Bridges as Jane Doe’s pimp and arrested the defendant at the scene. The defendant’s GPS monitoring device confirmed his location.
Members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (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 SAPD and OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, SAPD and community and non-profit partners.
Deputy District Attorney Bryan Clavecilla of the HEAT Unit prosecuted 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.
A component of the OCHTTF is the OCDA’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. 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
Susan Kang Schroeder, Chief of Staff