SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow announced that a Sacramento man was sentenced to 15 years in state prison for trafficking a 14-year-old girl in SLO County.
On March 15, 2021, a SLO County Jury found 38-year-old Lucion Lee Edwards Banks guilty of trafficking the girl using force, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace or threat of unlawful injury.
This conviction resulted from a run-of-the-mill traffic enforcement stop by San Luis Obispo City Police Officer Quenten Rouse, which quickly revealed evidence that Banks was involved in trafficking the young survivor for commercial sexual exploitation.
On Friday, Honorable Judge Barry T. LaBarbera sentenced Banks to 15 years in state prison. He is also required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
Dow said the trafficking survivor, whose name will not be revealed, attended the sentencing hearing and provided a powerful description of how the crime impacted her life and how she is focusing on having a better future. “I am glad to say, I feel no more fear. I am going to graduate high school. I am going to beauty school. And, also I am going to have my own apartment,” she said in court.
“This conviction and sentence is further proof of the importance of our anti-human trafficking task force and the sad reality that human trafficking of minors is happening here in San Luis Obispo County,” said District Attorney Dow. “The District Attorney’s Office will continue to do everything within our power to prevent future children from being trafficked in our community and hold traffickers accountable for their crimes.”
In addition to local law enforcement witnesses, an expert witness from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Inspector Tim Bergquist, testified about the dynamics and sub-culture of human trafficking to the jury.
Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has been a California state-wide leader on combating trafficking and created HEAT Watch several years ago.
This case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo City Police Department with the assistance of the District Attorney Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Christopher B. White.