By Jim Tortolano/Garden Grove Journal/With wire service reports
A man and a woman accused of forcing a 14-year-old girl into prostitution were scheduled for arraignment this week. The suspects were arrested when a Garden Grove police officer made a routine traffic stop and became suspicious.
Chuncey Tarae Garcia, 33, is faced with a charge of forcible human trafficking, the first case brought under California’s new Proposition 35, approved by voters last fall. He also faced charges of pimping a minor and raping the girl.
The arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday in West Justice Center in Westminster. Results were not known at our deadline.
Cierra Robinson, 27, allegedly a prostitute, faces charges of recruiting the runaway girl into prostitution.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, the victim, a “Jane Doe” runaway from another state, met Robinson in February. She allegedly befriended the girl as a means of procuring her as a prostitute.
Robinson then introduced the girl to Garcia, who allegedly told the teenager she would become a prostitute working for him. Authorities claim that the defendants drove the girl to Orange County, taking her to Buena Park and forcing her to work as a street-walker.
Garcia is accused of forcing the girl to have sex with various “Johns,” as well as setting a daily quota of money earned. Meals would be withheld if the goals were not met, it’s alleged. He also is accused of raping the girl.
On March 1, Garcia and Robinson, the victim and another woman were driving in a car in Garden Grove and their car was stopped for a broken headlight. The GGPD officer, noting the young appearance of the girl and the fact that they were in an area know for high prostitution activity, became suspicious.
The girl was taken into protective custody, and Garcia and Robinson were arrested at the scene. They were held on $1 million bail. Garcia, who had prior convictions for cocaine possession and transportation in 2007 and 2009, could get 28 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges. Robinson could get 12 years.
The passage of Prop. 35 more than doubled sentences for human trafficking and imposed life sentences for the sex trafficking of children.