Crime

Los Osos teen testifies against alleged pimp she met on Craigslist

Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks

Jurors sat stone-faced Monday as they watched several videos of an alleged pimp having sex with a 17-year-old Los Osos girl she said he recruited through Craigslist.

Richard Scott Brooks, 40, of San Francisco is on trial for numerous felonies, including human trafficking, pimping, forcible rape and committing sex acts with an unconscious person. According to police records and court testimony, the teen’s mother and younger sister were out of state on vacation when she responded to the ad Brooks allegedly placed in July 2014.

“I was lonely, and I felt alone, and I wanted somebody to spend time with while I was alone at my house,” the girl, now 18, told a jury.

During his opening statement, Deputy District Attorney Greg Devitt told jurors that Brooks initially requested photos of the victim and cajoled her into picking him up in the Bay Area. At the girl’s home in Los Osos, Devitt said, Brooks had sex with the victim for four days, at times while she was unconscious.

“It’s the submissiveness he thrives on,” Devitt told jurors.

Eventually, Devitt said, Brooks sought to pimp out the teen to other men through additional Craigslist ads.

Brooks’ attorney, Matt Guerrero, said the sex was consensual, and the teen — referred to in court as Jane Doe — had actually pursued it, writing in one exchange with Brooks, “I’ll be the perfect little slut” and saying she wanted to be a “sex slave.”

The teen and the defendant took part in role-playing, Guerrero said.

“This is a subculture of sex most of us haven’t seen,” Guerrero told jurors, adding that Jane Doe initially portrayed herself as 18.

On the stand, the teen testified that her parents divorced at 10. From the ages of 3 to 9, she said, she was repeatedly molested by her grandfather, who had also been her baby sitter. When she revealed the abuse, she said, her grandfather fatally shot himself in the head.

I was lonely, and I felt alone.

Jane Doe, testifying on why she responded to Craigslist ad

In July 2014, her mother and sister had left the state for 10 days, she said. That’s when she found the ad Brooks had placed.

“I guess I was curious,” she said.

She said she did not know Brooks has been convicted of child pornography in New York in 2010.

During their initial contacts, through texts, emails and phone calls, she said, Brooks promised her money in exchange for sex with others.

“He was supposed to act as my business partner, and I was supposed to receive money for those acts,” she said.

As she drove to the Bay Area to pick him up, she testified, she regretted her actions but continued anyway. When she first saw him at a train station, she added, he didn’t look like he did in the photos he had sent.

“It wasn’t very inviting,” she said of his appearance.

Still, she picked him up. And after he allegedly forced her to commit a sex act on him in the car, they drove to Los Osos. Brooks talked of having been in prison, she said, and spoke threateningly, she said.

I think from the beginning, he told me that I was basically his property.

Jane Doe

“I was afraid of him,” she said.

In Los Osos, Brooks showed her child pornography, she said, which made her “sick to my stomach because my grandfather who had molested me was into that.” Then he allegedly had sex with her multiple times.

“I think from the beginning, he told me that I was basically his property,” she testified.

While Brooks had sex with her, he shot videos he would later use to try to recruit clients, Devitt said. Those videos, found on the defendant’s phone, were played for the jury.

The teen, who remained on the stand, was asked to describe some of the events on the screen, which she did, at times graphically though with short answers. She appeared emotionless during her testimony and as she watched the videos.

The video screen was positioned so members of the audience could not see the videos, though audio could be heard. When asked whether she enjoyed some of the sex, the teen quietly said, “I guess.”

During some of the sex acts, the teen was under the influence, and on the stand she said she did not know several of the acts portrayed in the videos had occurred.

As Brooks sought out more men for her to have sex with, she said she went along, fearing she would be hurt. “Because when I was molested by my grandfather, he told me that if I didn’t listen, he would kill me,” she said.

One man allegedly responded to the ad — Oscar Higueros, a volunteer fire captain in Cayucos who will face charges in a separate trial.

The teen said she never received money from Brooks, even though Higueros agreed to pay $150 for a half-hour with her.

Brooks told her that he needed money to return to the Bay Area.

“I didn’t think it was fair,” she said.

She will return to the stand Tuesday.

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