Orange County District Attorney, Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 13NF1040: June 13, 2013
*Co-defendant convicted and sentenced for conspiracy to commit pimping in this case
FULLERTON – The first defendant in Orange County to be convicted of human trafficking under California’s Proposition 35 (Prop 35) was sentenced yesterday to eight years in state prison for trafficking a woman into Orange County and forcing her into prostitution. Mark Wesley Anderson, 27, Seattle, WA, pleaded guilty June 12, 2013, to one felony count each of human trafficking of an adult and possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Co-defendant Jaeleesa Jaemika Smith, 25, Salem, OR, pleaded guilty June 12, 2013, to one felony count of conspiracy to commit pimping and was sentenced to three years of formal probation and four years in state prison suspended pending completion of probation. The Orange County District Attorney gave this defendant consideration based on the fact that Smith was emotionally manipulated by Anderson and was less criminally culpable in this case.
“This defendant treated another human with less respect than one would treat livestock. He promised romance and a vacation, but instead isolated her, instilled fear, withheld food and sleep, made her perform sex act after sex after with random men, and be forever infamously memorialized on the Internet with embarrassing pictures. This defendant not only stole her money and food stamps, he tried to steal her dignity,” said District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “And Smith helped a man prey on another woman and carry out his dirty deeds. I am grateful to the People of California for giving us the tools to go after these bottom feeders and the mandate that exploitation and trafficking of human beings will be prosecuted with vigor. ”
Circumstances of the Case
Anderson is a pimp/human trafficker and Smith worked for him as a prostitute and recruiting other women to prostitute for Anderson. In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps exploit women and/or children for financial gain and often assign ranks to the women they exploit. They often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical or emotional abuse. Smith was the highest-ranking of Anderson’s prostitutes.
In November 2012, Anderson met 30-year-old Jane Doe at her place of employment in another state. He befriended the victim with the intention of procuring her as a prostitute. Jane Doe believed that she had a romantic relationship with the defendant and refused when he tried to recruit her as a prostitute.
In March 2013, Anderson transported the victim to another state under the pretense of a vacation. He drove Jane Doe, Smith, and two other women to Idaho. Anderson and Smith told the victim that they were short on money and that she had to make money as a prostitute. Anderson had previously been violent toward another woman by beating her with a wire hanger, causing the vulnerable and isolated Jane Doe to be fearful of the defendant.
Smith assisted Anderson by enforcing the “Rules of the Game” imposed by Anderson, including instructing Jane Doe on how much to charge for various sex acts and not allowing her to sleep unless she earned enough money for the night. Jane Doe could not eat without permission, and could not use the bathroom in the morning before Anderson. Smith was violent toward Jane Doe and hit her because the victim violated a rule. Anderson took the victim’s food stamps, sold them, and kept the money for himself.
Between March 25, 2013, and March 27, 2013, the defendants drove Jane Doe into California to Orange County. Anderson forced the victim to work as a prostitute by walking down the street in high-prostitution areas to attract men for sex. He also posted sexually suggestive ads for Jane Doe on prostitution websites. The defendants forced Jane Doe to perform sex acts with random men, collecting all of the money she received, and set a daily quota under the threat of withholding meals and sleep if she did not earn enough money.
Jane Doe called her relative in another state and explained that she was being kept under duress as a prostitute in Anaheim and that she needed help. Her relative contacted the Anaheim Police Department (APD), who investigated the case and arrested the defendants on March 27, 2013. During the time he was in Orange County, Anderson was in possession of the drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, with the intent to sell.
Proposition 35 and HEAT
The case against Anderson is the first in Orange County against a human trafficker to be resolved under Prop 35. In November 2012, California’s anti-human trafficking 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.
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. 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 to be carried out.
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.
The case was investigated by APD. Deputy District Attorney Brad Schoenleben of the HEAT Unit prosecuted this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff