Human trafficker gets 33 years in prison

LONG BEACH – A 25-year-old man convicted of pimping a teenager in Long Beach was sentenced Wednesday to 33 years in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. In August, a jury convicted Eric James Avery of two felony counts: pimping a minor 16 years of age or older and human trafficking of a minor for a sex act. Additionally, jurors found true a gang allegation.

At Wednesday’s sentencing, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Tomson Ong also ordered Avery to register as a sex offender for life.

Deputy District Attorney Lee Ashley Cernok, who prosecuted the case, said on May 15, 2013, two female victims, ages 20 and 18, escaped a locked car in Culver City. They ran to a good Samaritan and told him they had been kidnapped and forced into prostitution. The man drove them to a nearby police station and authorities began an investigation.

The 20-year-old victim told police she met Winn in January 2013. At the time, the defendant convinced the woman to work as a prostitute and then he raped her.

The 18-year-old victim told authorities that she met Winn in November 2012 and he also persuaded her to prostitute for him, but she eventually stopped.

On May 15, 2013, Winn created a ruse for the 18-year-old to meet with him, at which point he forced her into his car and threatened her. Winn then picked up the 20-year-old victim and took both women to the mall.  While he was inside, both women escaped from the vehicle.

A day after the two victims went to police, law enforcement arrested Winn while he was driving to meet the victim. Police pulled him over and arrested him. Avery was the passenger in the vehicle and also was taken into custody.

Officers found a hotel key in Avery’s pocket, the prosecutor said. When they went to the hotel room, they discovered a 16-year-old girl who revealed she had been working as a prostitute for Avery.

 

**********

Published: Nov. 13, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 31