A San Fransisco man could face life in prison after a SLO County jury convicted him on numerous felony counts connected to the trafficking, pimping, and sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl.
After a multi-week trial featuring the testimony of the victim, Richard Scott Brooks, 40, was found guilty of forced human trafficking of a minor, along with 18 additional counts of felony sex crimes, including rape, sodomy, pimping, and oral copulation.
During her intense and occasionally tearful testimony, the victim, known only as Jane Doe, testified that Brooks, whom she met online, spent four days at her home in November 2014, and during that time coerced her into having sex with him. She also claimed that Brooks gave her drugs and alcohol, then had sex with her while she was unconscious, and arranged for her to have sex with at least one other man for money. In addition to the victim’s testimony, prosecutors also presented a trail of electronic communications between the two, including graphically sexual text messages and photos.
While Brooks’ defense attorney argued that the relationship was consensual, prosecutors from the SLO County District Attorney’s office said Brooks was a predator who groomed and controlled the teen.
“We are very pleased and thankful for the hard work the jury did in holding the defendant accountable for what he did to the minor victim,” Deputy District Attorney Greg Devitt said in a statement issued shortly after the verdict. “The jury obviously found the victim credible and these verdicts will hopefully bring her comfort as she heals from this very traumatic event.”
While Brooks awaits sentencing, the case isn’t exactly closed.
During the four days in which she was abused by Brooks, prosecutors said Brooks arranged for the girl to have sex with another man, Oscar Higueros Jr., 39, for $150. At the time, Higueros was working for the Cayucos Fire Department. He is still awaiting trial.
Brooks could face a maximum sentence of 63 years to life in prison for his crimes. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 29.