A Bay Area man used Craigslist to recruit and pimp out a teenage girl from Los Osos, an investigator testified Tuesday, and recorded himself having sex with the victim while she was passed out drunk.
But a defense attorney suggested the teen wanted to become a prostitute, presented herself as an adult and moved in with her first client.
Richard Scott Brooks, 39, of San Francisco, faces 11 charges — including human trafficking, pimping and committing sex acts with an unconscious person — that could lead to life in prison. However, during his preliminary hearing Tuesday, a judge dismissed charges accusing him of forcibly assaulting his victim.
Brooks, who has a previous child pornography conviction from New York, has pleaded not guilty.
During the hearing, Clint Cole, a senior deputy with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office, testified that Brooks contacted the 17-year-old girl through a Craigslist ad. Brooks and the teen eventually agreed that she would have sex for money, Cole said, and Brooks would act as her pimp.
The girl, who had turned 17 a month earlier, told police she needed money because her mother and sister had left her alone for two weeks.
“He was going to give her $5,000 for the weekend,” Cole testified.
According to Cole, the girl, a Morro Bay High School student identified only as Jane Doe, traveled to Fremont last July to meet Brooks.
“She said she was immediately fearful,” Cole testified. “When she saw him, he really creeped her out.”
Cole said Brooks insisted she drive him to Los Osos, saying things wouldn’t end well for her or her family if she didn’t.
Brooks then forced her to commit several sex acts, Cole said. At times, the investigator testified, Brooks videotaped himself having sex with the victim as she was passed out drunk.
He also played pornography, including child porn, during some of the assaults, Cole said.
Brooks posted some of the images of himself and the teen on Craigslist in an ad that invited others to have sex with her for money. On July 28, Oscar Higueros, a 38-year-old firefighter from Cayucos, allegedly arrived at the girl’s home with $150.
After Higueros had sex with the teen, Cole said, Brooks later set up another ad, seeking men to pay $175 apiece for group sex with the girl.
Five days after his arrival, Brooks left the girl’s home, knowing the victim’s mother would return the next day. After a third party reported the incident to police, Brooks was arrested in Fremont on Sept. 2.
On cross-examination, defense attorney Matthew Guerrero suggested that the teen had sought to become a prostitute and had portrayed herself as 18.
While the teen told Cole she was coerced into having sex, the investigator testified, she never asked anyone for help during the drive from Fremont to Los Osos. She also shopped with Brooks in San Luis Obispo.
After Brooks left, she sent him messages saying she loved and missed him.
When initially questioned by police, Cole said, the teen denied anything wrong had happened. And, eventually, she moved in with Higueros.
Higueros, who also faces numerous charges in the case, has pleaded not guilty.
Higueros will appear in court for a pretrial hearing Nov. 17. Brooks is set to appear in court again Nov. 20.