A 16-year-old boy has been charged as an adult in a human-trafficking case involving a teenage girl who was rescued from a San Luis Obispo hotel this week after allegedly being forced into prostitution.
The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office charged four people Thursday with felony human trafficking: Nikko X. Anaya, 16, of Manteca; Brianna Day Morales, 20, of Chico; Fabio Bettencourt Silveira, 20, of Chico; and Elijah Joel Wolfson, 19.
Anaya was also charged with felony dissuading a witness by force or threat.
Morales posted bail and is to appear in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for arraignment on Aug. 12. The other three defendants will be arraigned Friday.
According to the San Luis Obispo Police Department, Anaya had been traveling with the 15-year-old victim before arriving in San Luis Obispo around July 25. By that time, the girl had already been forced into prostitution, police say, both in San Luis Obispo County and in cities north of it.
It is not clear yet what roles each of the defendants allegedly played in the case.
Acting on a tip from the Manteca Police Department, San Luis Obispo police responded to a hotel on Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo on Tuesday and found the alleged victim, who had been reported missing in Manteca. Police had been told by investigators in San Joaquin County that the girl was likely being held against her will by possibly armed human traffickers.
The girl, who was allegedly found shaking and crying in the hotel, has since been reunited with her family.