San José woman convicted of child sex trafficking – East Bay Times
SAN JOSE – A 29-year-old woman from San Jose has been convicted of conspiracy and child sex trafficking, federal prosecutors have said.
In April 2016, Araceli Mendoza and three others were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking and three counts of child sex trafficking.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mendoza worked with Ariel Guizar-Cuellar, a San Jose resident, 41, Jocelyn Contreras, a Redwood City resident, 26, and Alyssa Anthony, a Gilroy resident, aged 27, to recruit women and girls to work. as prostitutes and exotic dancers, transport them to and from prostitution dates, book hotel rooms for dates, collect money after dates, and create and post sex ads. Internet prostitution.
Guizar-Cuellar was the âleader, the main enabler and the main financial recipientâ of the company, prosecutors said in a press release.
Mendoza, for her part, argued a defense under duress, meaning she committed the crimes out of fear for her safety, prosecutors said.
On Wednesday, a jury found that Mendoza “both conspired with his co-defendants to facilitate the business of sex trafficking and in particular the sex trafficking of an underage girl,” prosecutors said.
A jury acquitted Mendoza on the second count of child sex trafficking and failed to deliver a verdict on a third count.
Guizar-Cuellar, Contreras and Anthony have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
The four defendants are due to return to court for sentencing on October 19. The charge of child sex trafficking carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and the charge of conspiracy to commit a child sex trafficking charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. . prosecutors said.