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Santa Barbara Co. DA: Man pleads guilty to pimping, pandering

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Posted at 3:52 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 19:25:54-05

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office announced this week that 34-year-old David Johnson pleaded guilty in a human trafficking sex case.

Johnson was charged with pimping and pandering. He also admitted to inflicting great bodily injury to Jane Doe while he was human trafficking her.

Johnson is a known Piru Blood gang member from Los Angeles, according to the DA's Office.

In April 2016, Johnson met 18-year-old Jane Doe and told her she could make money dancing in L.A. He then convinced her that he loved her, and she decided to move to California with him. After that, he became violent and insisted they move to Utah so she could work for him as a prostitute.

Over the next 16 months, the defendant sex trafficked Jane Doe and beat her severely several times. Officials say some of her injuries includes a broken nose, a lacerated jaw and injury to her genitalia.

Jane Doe continued to work for him out of fear for her life and the ones she loved.

On June 29, 2017, detectives with the Santa Barbara Police Department conducted a human sex trafficking sting to locate and liberate victims of human sex trafficking. After discovering an escort advertisement, Sergeant Ryan DeJohn posed as a client and set up a meeting with Jane Doe.

Sergeant DeJohn's investigation revealed that she was a victim of sex trafficking.

According to District Attorney Joyce Dudley, “Throughout the next several months Sergeant DeJohn, and other extraordinarily dedicated professionals with the Santa Barbara Police Department, worked closely with Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office’s Human Trafficking Task Force on this case... All of these criminal justice professionals worked tirelessly to gather as much evidence and legal research as they could to educate the jury and support the human trafficking victim/survivor."

On Tuesday, Johnson pleaded guilty to all charges and allegations. The case was continued for sentencing on March 19.

Johnson is now facing a maximum sentence of 57 years in state prison.