Taking advantage of young women hoping to find wealthy boyfriends, a group of pimps lured their prey with false trappings and then forced them to work in a Southern California prostitution ring, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Federal prosecutors late this month charged Valsin Antoine Francois of Long Beach with conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.
According to the government's court filings, Francois worked in league with Roshaun Nakia Porter and Marquis Monte Horn to recruit unsuspecting victims by placing ads on dating websites like www.seekingarrangements.com or modeling websites like www.modelmayhem.com.
Beginning in at least 2010, the men employed "various coercive tactics to initially induce victims into engaging in prostitution, including, developing a romantic relationship with victims; falsely promising work as a $500 a day escort only; falsely promising to financially care for victims and their family; falsely promising to assist victims in obtaining lawful status in the United States; and isolating victims from their friends and family," according to Assistant United States Attorney Sandy N. Leal.
Once the defendants allegedly put the women into prostitution they took partially nude photographs of them, created Internet sex ads, rented hotel rooms and collected all the proceeds, according to the prosecutor.
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Whether Francois--who was born in 1978--is in custody couldn't be determined because the government sealed a portion of the case from public view.
A judge has not yet been assigned to the case inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.