A Superior Court Judge has sentenced a local man, Jerome Hubbard, 28, to jail for “supervising” a prostitute; a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months incarceration. Since there was evidence the crime benefited his gang, a Crip set in Long Beach, he received an additional six month “gang enhancement,” that gave him a maximum sentence of one year in County Jail.
“This is an especially egregious case and it shows a problem in the law that should be fixed,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert. “We are seeing a link between gangs and the illegal sex trade. When that link is present, the law should treat these cases more seriously.”
On October 4, 2014, an undercover police officer posing as a “John” responded to a racy internet advertisement for female “escort services.” He was directed to a motel room in Long Beach and, after entering the room, determined that the female intended to engage in an act of prostitution. The woman in the room was detained, but during the investigation officers located Hubbard hiding in the motel bathroom with two cell phones.
Investigators found messages on the phones believed to be made by Hubbard revealing multiple acts of supervising prostitution and even boasting that he was “pimping on these ‘hoes.” Since the female refused to cooperate and give evidence against Hubbard, there was insufficient evidence of pimping or human trafficking, so Hubbard could only be charged with “supervising” a prostitute, a misdemeanor. Due to overcrowding in the Los Angeles County Jail, Hubbard could be released only a few months into his one year sentence.
“Gangs are increasingly getting involved in prostitution and human trafficking in Los Angeles County and across the country,” noted Haubert. “The Long Beach Police Department is a leader in recognizing the growing link between gangs and prostitution, but our laws need to catch up to the reality on the streets and give police and prosecutors the tools they need to curb human trafficking.”