A 20-year-old San Luis Obispo man was sentenced to three years in state prison Tuesday after accepting a plea deal for pimping a 16-year-old girl.
With time served and good conduct credit, Douglas James Stephens will be eligible for parole in a little over two years.
Stephens was one of nine people arrested in May in a prostitution sting at a San Luis Obispo motel.
During that operation, officers attempted to arrest the unidentified girl on suspicion of prostitution. She was able to escape, however, and ran to Stephens’ nearby vehicle and alerted him of the operation, according to a San Luis Obispo Police Department news release.
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Stephens was caught as he attempted to drive away and the girl was taken into custody about 30 minutes later. She was taken to the County Juvenile Services Center and is considered a victim in the case.
Authorities said the arrests were the result of an operation spanning Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo in response to a recent string of crimes against women, drug sales and trafficking of stolen property.
The San Luis Obispo Police Department claimed the operation “successfully impacted the prostitution industry and the crimes associated with it that were targeted in the operation.”
Four adult females and three men were also arrested in the sting and charged with misdemeanor counts of prostitution and soliciting. Those arrested included residents of San Luis Obispo, Fresno and Madera counties.
The Tribune does not report the names of people suspected of non-felony charges. Stephens was the only person suspected of a felony; originally on suspicion of human trafficking and pimping a minor. But prosecutors instead filed two felony charges of pimping and pandering a minor for prostitution.
Those charges and an outstanding warrant from Sacramento County have kept him in custody at the County Jail in lieu of $55,500 bail since his arrest.
Stephens originally pleaded not guilty, but he accepted a deal from prosecutors on Aug. 26, to plead no contest to pimping in exchange for the pandering charge to be dismissed.
Stephens’ terms of probation will require him to register as a sex offender once released.