MARTINEZ — It took jurors less than a full day of deliberating to find Louis Ray Coleman guilty on all charges in a 25-count human trafficking, rape, and kidnapping case.

Coleman, 42, now faces a life sentence. He was convicted of separately kidnapping two people — a woman and a 12-year-old girl — then taking them to the backyard of an abandoned building, raping them for days, and forcing them to ingest methamphetamine.

He kidnapped the woman, who was new to the Bay Area, after she got lost from BART and accepted Coleman’s offer for help. After she escaped her captivity by running away as they walked down the street, Coleman kidnapped a 12-year-old girl who had just run away from a group home.

Read More

SANTA CRUZ – Truck stops, roadside motels and rural highways. The ordinary spaces remind Deborah Pembrook of her childhood as a sex slave.

Those places, and other upscale sites, are hubs for California’s thriving human-trafficking industry today, Pembrook said during a presentation Saturday at Santa Cruz Police Department.
She showed map of the U.S. with the nation’s largest concentration of human trafficking in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Coast. Pembrook, who continues to fight the problem through the Coalition to End Human Trafficking in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, is part of a movement teaching people how to identify the subtle signs of human trafficking.

Read More

MARTINEZ — A Bay Area man whom police say met his victim through a popular dating site was sentenced to 28 years in prison Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to human trafficking.

Akeli Duane Blake, 25, was also charged with kidnapping for ransom and making criminal threats, but those charges were dropped in exchange for his guilty plea. He was arrested last year, after a woman in her teens reported to police he had forced her to perform sex acts for money, by threatening to harm her and her family.

Read More

Authorities recovered two victims, including a 17-year-old, during Operation Cross Country XI

SAN FRANCISCO — An annual effort to recover victims of child prostitution and draw attention to the problem of sex trafficking culminated in the arrests of four pimps and the rescue of two victims in the Bay Area, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children announced Wednesday.

Between Oct. 12 and Sunday, authorities across the United States arrested 120 suspects and recovered 84 victims as part of Operation Cross Country, now in its 11th year.

Read More