Forced Prostitution

Forced Prostitution

Man accused of forcing teen into prostitution
Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 9:54 a.m.

SAN DIEGO — A 33-year-old man is facing a federal sex-crimes charge in connection with the forced prostitution of a 16-year-old San Diego girl, whom authorities say he threatened to kill if she tried to leave him.

Charles Daun Hamilton of Oakland was indicted by a federal grand jury in San Diego last Thursday on one count of sex trafficking of children by force, fraud or coercion, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra Serano.

Hamilton is accused of forcing the girl to work for him as a prostitute from April to June. According to court papers, he first met the teen, who was on probation and had been a runaway for seven months, at a hotel in Mission Valley on Easter Sunday.

Prosecutors allege he took her to two different hotels, where they met with two other women who were also working as prostitutes for him, before they drove to a home in Spring Valley to get Ecstasy pills.

They both took the drugs and then went to a hotel in Pomona, where Hamilton had sex with her and then put the girl to work performing sex acts for money, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors say Hamilton traveled with the girl from Pomona to Claremont and eventually to Oakland, where at one point they stayed with his parents before returning to San Diego.

They were accompanied at various times by other women who also worked for Hamilton as prostitutes, according to the complaint. One of them brought along Hamilton’s 16-month-old child.

According to court documents, the girl also was instructed to post pictures of herself on the Internet to advertise her services.

The girl said she told Hamilton she was afraid to continue working as a prostitute but he begged her to “just do it for me.” She said she wanted to leave but was afraid he would hurt her or kill her.

The girl was arrested June 9 on El Cajon Boulevard after agreeing to perform sex acts with an undercover police officer, authorities said.

Another woman, who was arrested in the same operation and was also working for Hamilton, told detectives she had been homeless and traveled to San Diego with the pair from Oakland.

According to court documents, that woman told investigators that she and the girl looked for customers together and that Hamilton had told the girl to instruct the woman on how to conduct business, including specific prices for sex acts and advice on how to know if the customer was an undercover police officer. There were also instructions to be aware of other pimps who might want to kidnap them.

During questioning, the girl, who was nervous and stumbling over her words, first refused to talk about Hamilton and said she just wanted to do her time. In one hour while she sat with police, Hamilton called her cell phone 20 times or more.

She eventually opened up to detectives and Hamilton was arrested in Washington. He is expected to be returned to San Diego on July 20, after which he will be arraigned and have a bail hearing.

Serano said she is going to ask that Hamilton be held without bail. If convicted, he could face 10 years to life in prison.

Serano described child sex exploitation cases as horrific. “These folks that perpetrate these crimes pick on the most vulnerable members of our society,” Serano said.

The girl told authorities that she had been working as a prostitute since she was 14.

Debbi Baker: (619) 293-1710



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