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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Long Beach Woman And Son Plead Guilty To Sex Trafficking Of Teenagers Who Worked As Prostitutes

LOS ANGELES – A Long Beach woman pleaded guilty this afternoon to federal charges of working with her son to prostitute a local runaway beginning when the girl was 15 and another young woman beginning when she was 18.

Sharilyn Kae Anderson, 46, pleaded guilty to conspiring with her son to engage in sex trafficking, an offense that carries a potential penalty of life in federal prison.

In a plea agreement filed in United States District court, Anderson admitted that she and her son used force, threats of force or coercion against the adult victim.

Anderson’s guilty plea comes nine days after her son, Joshua Jerome Davis, 23, pleaded guilty to the sex trafficking conspiracy, as well as two substantive counts of sex trafficking of a minor and an adult by force, threats of force or coercion. The charge of sex trafficking of a child by force carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years. The sex trafficking of an adult by force, threats of force, or coercion, or any combination of these means, carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years.

Anderson was arrested in August 2013 outside a residence he leased in North Las Vegas. At the time of his arrest, investigators located and rescued the minor victim who was with Anderson.

The Long Beach Police Department initially opened the investigation after the minor victim’s father reported her missing. The ensuing investigation uncovered evidence that Davis, assisted by his mother, had prostituted the victim at several hotels in Southern California and transported her across state lines to Nevada to engage in commercial sex in Las Vegas.

According to court documents, Davis first communicated with the minor victim on Facebook in 2010, when she was 14, leading to an initial meeting in early 2012. Several months later, the minor victim created an account on a website commonly used to promote prostitution and escort services. Anderson helped facilitate the prostitution scheme by booking hotel rooms and transporting both victims to hotels to engage in prostitution when her son was unavailable. Anderson also threatened the adult victim to intimidate her to continue making money for her son by prostituting.

Anderson and Davis each pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder, who is scheduled to sentence Anderson on May 18 and Davis on May 4.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Long Beach Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Release No. 15-013

Updated May 7, 2018