OCDA: Four Women Face Pimping Charges for Roles in High-End Escort Service

 

spitzer_anaheim_presser
Spitzer at the mic. Photo by Gabriel San Roman

A lengthy investigation spanning three states ended with the arrest of four women accused of pimping and pandering under the guise of an escort service. According to authorities, call centers for Companions Escorts operated in Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. Authorities seized tens of thousands of dollars of cash and froze bank accounts totaling more than $300,000.

“What we typically see in our cases is that we have male pimps prostitute females and others for exploitation and money,” said Orange County district attorney Todd Spitzer during a press conference this morning at Anaheim Police Department. “In this case, we have women exploiting women for gain.”

The felony charges come after a year-long probe led by the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force began last March. Jodi Hoskins, 43, and Torri Wilkinson, 37, are charged with four counts each of pimping and pandering as well as four counts of conspiracy to commit those crimes. Hoskins, a Las Vegas resident, is accused of having acted as president of Companions Escorts. Wilkinson, her Utah counterpart, is said to have served as Vice President.

Authorities are seeking Hoskins’ extradition from Nevada in order to stand trial in OC. Both women face a maximum of 12 years and eight months in state prison if convicted of all charges against them.

Two other women charged, Andrea Tizzano, 30, and Aisha Healohawauiaoi Kaluhiokalani, 39, only face four pimping and pandering charges for allegedly running call centers in Santa Ana and Palm Springs. If convicted, both Palm Springs-based women face a maximum of 10 years in state prison.

All four women charged in the case got arrested yesterday afternoon.

Screenshot from Newports Escorts website

“These are not victimless crimes,” Spitzer added. “We believe that there is a larger number of potential victims.” In court documents, four adult women sex workers are said to have been pimped out at various times between April 2017 and February 2019. The district attorney asked for any potential sex workers under the umbrella of Companions Escorts to come forward and cooperate with the investigation without any fear of being prosecuted.

The case is being handled in OC because the conspiracy is alleged to have happened in the county and also on account of the two local call centers. Authorities arrested Wilkinson in Irvine. All women are being held on $1 million bail. By its own accounts, Companions Escorts made tens of thousands of dollar per month and employed upwards to 50 women in its operations.

Authorities seized “massive amounts” of documents and assume that a client list may exist within them. No wealthy or famous sex purchasers were named during this morning’s press conference.

The going rates for Companions Escorts began at $250 and up for half-hour to hour-long sessions. “This county is seen as an affluent county and rightly so,” said Anaheim police sergeant Juan Reveles. “That’s why we have such big problems with demand that we’re going to attack as well.”

Not your usual accused pimps. Photo by Gabriel San Roman

According to court documents, Hoskins and Wilkinson partnered up in 2014 to form Companions Escorts and developed a separate “Newports Escorts” website in addition to the main company site. They opened up call centers and used a “naughtycaligirls” email account that got plastered over 1,600 Backpage.com advertisements. The Newports Escorts site openly solicited escort applications and offered potential recruits an “upscale clientele” while touting the service as being owned and operated by women.

Sex workers are said to have traveled to Nevada and Utah to meet with sex purchasers, but the crimes brought against the accused ringleaders didn’t rise to the level of trafficking.

“They’re charged with pimping and not human trafficking because of the lack of force that we can show,” Reveles added, “but I can tell you from investigations and the emails of the conversations between them, the amount of pressure and duress that’s put upon them puts them in that situation.”

The Newport Escorts site promised an opportunity to continue educational opportunities, live debt free and lead an enriched life. But Spitzer didn’t see it that way.

“There was every effort on its face, without a shadow of a doubt, to try to look like a legitimate operation,” he said. “At the end of the day, this is pure exploitation of women [by] women for financial gain.”

2 Replies to “OCDA: Four Women Face Pimping Charges for Roles in High-End Escort Service”

  1. It will be interesting to see if there are ever any human trafficking charges brought. One suspects that it will end up like the Robert Kraft case in FL, where the headlines emphasize human trafficking, yet no trafficking charges emerge. Will Spitzer actually find victims or is this simply another case of consenting adults participating in activities that except for the exchange of money, would be otherwise legal?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *