DATE: January 31, 2023

CASE: Justin Starks (Case #22FE000510)

PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Courtney Martin, Human Trafficking Unit

The Honorable Maryanne Gilliard sentenced Justin Starks to 12 years in state prison.  On November 3, 2022, a jury convicted Starks 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.

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