A 35-year-old man was sentenced on Tuesday to 35 years to life in state prison for forcing a 15-year-old girl into working as a prostitute for him in Oakland and San Jose.
Darius Swain was convicted on Nov. 5 of human trafficking of a minor with force, pimping of a minor, pandering of a minor, robbery, being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm and being an ex-felon in possession of ammunition.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Rhonda Burgess, who sentenced Swain, said Swain exploited a 15-year-old girl who was a runaway from Fresno.
Prosecutors said that in April 2017, Swain was introduced to the girl through another juvenile girl he was actively exploiting.
They said Swain would drive the 15-year-old and two other girls who were 14 and 17 to known prostitution areas throughout the Bay Area, drop them off and watch them from his car to make sure they were soliciting men for sex.
Prosecutors said the girls were required to give Swain all of the money that they received from performing sex acts and described multiple cases in which he physically abused them.
They said on one occasion, Swain broke a girl's nose because she looked another man in the eyes, which was a violation of his rules for the girls who worked for him.
On April 21, 2017, Swain picked up the 15-year-old girl from International Boulevard in Oakland, which is a well-known prostitution area, and demanded that she hand over all of her money. However, the girl refused to give Swain her money because she wanted to buy a bus ticket to go home to Fresno, prosecutors said.
Swain responded by driving the girl to a desolate area in the Oakland hills, stripping her completely naked, beating her, forcibly taking her belongings and abandoning her on the street, prosecutors said.
On June 21, 2017, the 14-year-old girl who worked for Swain was detained by Alameda County sheriff's deputies during a human trafficking sting operation and investigators found identification cards that belonged to Swain, according to prosecutors.
Officers then followed the 14-year-old girl back to a Western Union office where they located and arrested Swain. When officers searched Swain's backpack, they found an unregistered 1911-style Kimber .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun with seven rounds loaded in its magazine, authorities said.
Burgess said that during Swain's trial, three underage girls other than the 15-year-old testified that they worked for Swain and that he used them to get other underage girls to work for him.
Burgess said Swain "had a pattern of charming and grooming girls to work as prostitutes" and used violence to do so.
The judge said two of the girls who worked for Swain gave birth to children he fathered.