Sunnyvale Police charge man with human trafficking of Oakland runaway
SANTA CLARA COUNTY – A 32-year-old Oakland man was charged Wednesday Feb 25, with the human trafficking of a teenage girl. During the investigation by Sunnyvale Police, the victim had said Simmons had picked her up from a bible study class. It was then that he had taken the teen to the Sunnyvale Vagabond Inn motel, exploiting her as a sex worker.
Prosecutors have charged Patrick Leo Simmons with human trafficking, and he faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the felony charge, along with five misdemeanor related charges. He is currently being held on $1 million bail.
“Teenagers who run away from home are in danger of becoming victims of sexual exploitation. These pimps are predators,” prosecutor Carlos Vega said. “The Santa Clara County Human Trafficking Task Force was instrumental in securing the rescue of the victim and the arrest of the defendant.”
Earlier this week, agents from the Human Trafficking Task Force got a tip from the San Jose Police Department that the victim – who was identified as a runaway – was being advertised for sex on Backpage.com – a website frequently used to post ads for prostitution.
According to the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office, “Agents arranged for a ‘date’ with the victim and recovered her from the hotel room.” When agents arrived they found the suspect standing nearby the victim’s motel room. He was arrested on Monday, February 23 once he was identified by the agents. When Simmons was searched by officers, it was found that he had $6,510 in cash and a key to the victim’s hotel room.