A man with a lengthy criminal history in Southern California—yet had somehow managed to avoid hard time—was sentenced in Santa Ana last week to 24 years in state prison and a lifetime of having to register as a sex offender.
The crime that finally did the trick? Trying to recruit a 17-year-old girl to be a sex worker. The thing was, she was actually an undercover cop posing (and posting!) as a minor.
Another man was sentenced to seven years in state prison and lifetime sex offender registration for attacking a woman on an Anaheim Hills jogging trail.
Antonio Chavez Moses III, 39, of Los Angeles, was found guilty by a jury on Sept. 29 of these felonies: human trafficking of a minor; attempted pimping of a minor; and pandering by promise, threat or violence. Jurors also found this sentencing enhancement true: prior strike conviction for voluntary manslaughter with the use of a firearm in Los Angeles County.
As an 18-year-old in 1995, Moses had been found guilty of manslaughter, but he was only sentenced to probation.
The following year, he and an accomplice were accused of attempted murder when shots were fired at a gang rival near a school, and a stray bullet entered a classroom and the forehead of a fifth grade teacher. Though it was initially presumed the teacher would die from his injuries, he miraculously survived. Moses' friend surrendered to authorities the day after the shooting, but Moses disappeared and later became the subject of a March 29, 1996, episode of Unsolved Mysteries. A week later, Moses was captured, but mistrials were declared the first two times prosecutors tried to convict him and his partner. It was reported that in both trials a key witness only gave "soft" testimony due to gang intimidation. Seeing no chance to secure a conviction, LA County's district attorney eventually announced a third trial would not be sought, and Compton Superior Court Judge John H. Leahy ruled Moses and his pal could never again be tried for the shooting, no matter what new evidence might surface.
In 2012, Moses was arrested in Nevada for battery and pandering, convicted and later paroled.
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He was back in LA between April 16 and May 10 of 2016, when he contacted a 17-year-old girl on a social media site. Actually, she was an undercover police officer Moses was trying to convince to come to him so he could pimp her out for his benefit. He arranged to meet her at a McDonald's restaurant in Orange County, where he did not find a teen girl but members of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. The OCHTTF, which investigated the case, is a partnership of the FBI, California Highway Patrol, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Orange County District Attorney's office, community and non-profit partners and the police departments of Irvine, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Huntington Beach.
Mario Orlando Montano, 59, of Anaheim, had been found guilty by a jury on June 21 of felony assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, with sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury and great bodily injury to a sexual assault victim found true. A then 24-year-old woman was jogging on a trail in an Anaheim Hills reservoir the afternoon of Dec. 10, 2013, when she slowed to a walk. That's when Montano jogged up to her, tried to chat her up and then tackled her to the ground. As he climbed on top of her, she kicked and struggled to get away. When she started to scream, he covered her mouth. The struggle was so violent that one of her teeth was knocked out. When he reached for his pants to sexually assault her, she was finally able to kick him and escape, running to a nearby home to call 9-1-1. Anaheim cops responded, found Montano nearby and arrested him. He got his ticket punched for seven years in prison on Friday.