Two men convicted of pimping teen in Santa Maria
May 19, 2016
A Santa Barbara County jury convicted two men of pimping a 16-year-old girl whom they advertised on Craigslist as a 20-year-old. The victim had sex with customers, as well as with both of the defendants.
Humberto Carranza, 24, met the girl in Santa Maria last October. He then introduced her to his friend, Cameron Jones, 27.
On Oct. 25, the teen ran away with Carranza, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. The next day, Carranza took her to Jones’ house, where they persuaded her to become a prostitute with Carranza acting as her pimp.
Carranza and Jones then placed advertisements on Craigslist, and on Oct. 27 and 28, Carranza rented motel rooms. Customers came to the rooms and had sex with the girl.
On Oct. 29, a Good Samaritan saw the teen and alerted her family and law enforcement about the girl’s location.
The jury delivered a verdict in the case on Wednesday. Jurors convicted both Carranza and Jones of pimping a minor, causing a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and two counts of oral copulation with a minor. Carranza was also convicted of pandering a minor.
Santa Barbara County Judge John McGregor will sentence Carranza and Jones on July 21. Both men face a maximum prison sentence of 14 years and eight months.
In January, a 40-year-old man convicted of raping and pimping a Los Osos teen received a prison sentence of more than 60 years. Richard Scott Brooks met the teen on Craigslist and likewise posted ads for her on the website.
Then-Cayucos firefighter Oscar Higueros Jr. responded to the Craigslist ad and had sex with the Los Osos girl numerous times over the span of a month. In March, a San Luis Obispo jury convicted Higueros of 25 crimes, including forcible rape and human trafficking of a minor by fear or force. Higueros is awaiting sentencing.