A San Luis Obispo County jury convicted 37-year-old Lucion Lee Edward Banks for human trafficking a 14-year-old girl in San Luis Obispo.
Banks was first caught when a SLO police officer conducted a traffic stop on Oct. 5, 2018, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. The officer noticed multiple signs indicating human trafficking, but Banks was initially arrested and booked for an unrelated traffic misdemeanor warrant.
Upon further investigation, SLOPD found the officer's initial suspicions were correct and Banks was then charged with felony human trafficking of a minor.
Banks was part of a 12-day jury trial, which came back with a unanimous guilty verdict after several hours of deliberation. He now is in custody with bail set at $1 million dollars.
His next court date is April 9, 2021, for sentencing, which the SLO District Attorney’s office says carries a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.
“Ms. Doe’s bravery and resilience demonstrated strength and grace as she testified during this trial,” Deputy District Attorney Christopher B. White said in a press release. “I am deeply grateful that so many wonderful people worked so hard to bring justice for our juvenile trafficking survivor.”
The District Attorney’s office says the trafficking survivor is doing well in school and has plans to be a beautician.