Defendant Convicted of Sex Trafficking 15-Year-Old Girl
DATE: November 4, 2022
CASE: Justin Starks (Case #22FE000510)
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Courtney Martin, Human Trafficking Unit
Justin Starks was convicted by a jury of persuading a minor to engage in a commercial sex act, pimping a minor under age 16, and pandering by encouraging a minor under 16 years old. The jury also found true aggravating factors that the victim was particularly vulnerable; that the crime indicated planning, sophistication, and professionalism; and that the trafficker took advantage of a position of trust and confidence.
In September 2021, detectives at the Sacramento Police Department received information that a 15-year-old teenager may be a victim of human trafficking. After talking to the victim’s family members and reviewing a significant amount of evidence, detectives identified Justin Starks as her trafficker. Over the course of several weeks, the victim’s trafficker took her to areas known for prostitution. She made money from selling sex and turned that money over to her trafficker.
Starks faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in state prison and will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Sentencing is set for January 13, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. in Department 12 before the Honorable Maryanne Gilliard.