24 year-old Richard Sandoval has been charged with 8 felonies related to his violent attempts at persuading his 18 year-old girlfriend to become his prostitute at a hotel in Garden Grove. Along with burning her leg with a blow torch, Sandoval threatened to kill the woman if she refused to engage sexual acts in exchange for money, according to the OC Weekly.
At some point during the event, Garden Grove Police were contacted and dispatched to the hotel room where Sandoval had taken up post. Inside the room Garden Grove Officers found scales, plastic bags, a large amount of cocaine, and the blow torch he had used to burn his victims leg.
Sandoval faces harsher punishment today than if he was charged with this crime only a few years ago. In 2012, Californians voted on Prop 35 and passed it with an overwhelming 81%, according to the Huffington Post. The proposition increases sentences for human traffickers to 12 year maximums, along with $1.5 million fines. Furthermore, those who traffic children could be sentenced to life in prison.
Victims of human trafficking can also benefit from Proposition 35. Because many alleged prostitutes are victims of human trafficking, they can provide very compelling testimony against alleged pimps and other human traffickers. Sometimes, District Attorneys will drop charges in exchange for information that can be used to convict suspected human traffickers.