A 10-year prison sentence was handed down for a Chula Vista resident who, along with another man, forced young girls to work as prostitutes in San Diego and Oceanside.
Eric Watkins, 21, also known as “Crank Moe,” pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children. He was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Cynthia Bashant.
Co-defendant Ricardo Bojorquez, 24, also admitted guilt and was sentenced in April to 78 months behind bars.
Watkins and Bojorquez detained a 15-year-old girl at Bojorquez’s apartment between Sept. 11-13, 2014, and forced her to call her father to tell him she would not be coming home.
They then took away her cell phone, threatened her and told that she was not free to leave and would be making money for the defendants as a prostitute, according to prosecutors.
Also present at Bojorquez’s apartment was a second 15-year-old girl, who had a long history of working as a prostitute for Watkins, prosecutors said.
Watkins assisted his co-defendant in posting online escort advertisements containing images of the two teens, and on Sept. 13, 2014, they took both 15-year-olds from San Diego to Oceanside to engage in commercial sex acts. But the girl being held against her will managed to flee to a bar in Oceanside and called her father to pick her up.
Prosecutors said Watkins and Bojorquez approached young girls and women on the trolley and also used Facebook and other social media to recruit them to work as prostitutes.
–City News Service