Jury Finds Sacramento Man Guilty of Sex Trafficking
SACRAMENTO, CA—Late Tuesday evening, a federal jury found a Sacramento man guilty of five counts of sex trafficking related to five victims, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
After an 11-day trial before U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley, Percy Love III, 32, was convicted of three counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud and coercion, one count of sex trafficking of a minor, and one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor.
This case is the product of an investigation by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force, a multijurisdictional task force composed of representatives from the FBI and the Sacramento Police Department, with assistance from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michele Beckwith and Jason Hitt are prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon, formerly with this office, prosecuted the case pretrial.
According to evidence produced at trial, Love targeted vulnerable young women and underage girls to work as prostitutes for him since at least 2007. The testimony of witnesses at trial, including the victims, revealed a pattern of conduct where Love used charm to recruit and brute force to control the women and girls who worked for him.
According to court documents, on July 22, 2013, Sacramento police officers were called to a report of domestic violence and found Love asleep in the front seat of a car with a woman, whose sister had called in the report. The woman explained to officers that she was in a “working relationship” with Love. She claimed that Love had beaten her many times, and she had bruises and cigarette burns on her hand, arm and stomach. Love was arrested that night for domestic violence and possession of Ecstasy.
On September 12, 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Love, charging him with two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion. After further investigation revealed more victims, a superseding indictment was brought on March 13, 2014. Love has been in custody since his arrest and represented himself during trial.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 12, 2015, before Judge Nunley. Love faces 15 years to life in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.