A Southern California man arrested last October for using the "Casual Encounters" section of Craigslist to brazenly lure high school girls into prostitution changed his plea to guilty this week in U.S. District Court.
Leo James Zabala Jr. of Whittier acknowledges that in 2011 he used a Yahoo email account and Craigslist online personals to offer high school girls "$60 for intercourse" and "$40 for oral copulation."
In response to inquiries from 14 and 15-year-old girls--actually an undercover law enforcement officer, Zabala sent sexually explicit emails that pushed for sex and secrecy.
He's not all monster. He has feelings. After all he promised the "girls" that he'd be gentle to reduce the pain of the intercourse.
Zabala was arrested on Oct. 24, 2011, after driving to Huntington Beach to meet a 14-year-old girl. He'd been prepared to party. He brought two vibrators, extra vibrator batteries and tangerine-flavored lubricating lotion, according to court records.
Yesterday in Judge David O. Carter's courtroom, federal prosecutors got Zabala, 26, to agree to serve a 91-month federal prison sentence for his sex crimes and waive his rights to appeal the convictions.
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When he's released from prison, he'll be on supervised probation for three years. During that time, he must give government authorities all of his Internet usernames and passwords; pay $32 a month for a computer monitoring program; register as a sex offender; participate in outpatient psychological counseling; avoid going within 100 feet of a school, park, public swimming pool, playground or video arcade; and cannot communicate with any person under the age of 18 without the permission of the parents after they've been informed of his convictions.
The case originated with a tip to federal agents from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.