Lady Justice 3 16-9

A Long Beach man was sentenced Monday for working with his mother to force a local runaway into prostitution beginning when the girl was 15, but the courtroom was closed to the public.

After the sealed hearing in Los Angeles federal court, a prosecutor declined to say what sentence was imposed on Joshua Jerome Davis, whose attorney did not answer a request for comment.

Davis, who pleaded guilty to the sex trafficking conspiracy as well as two federal counts of sex trafficking of a minor by force, threats and coercion, was arrested two years ago, when investigators rescued the now-19- year-old victim, who was with Davis’ mother.

Sharilyn Kae Anderson, 46, also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 10.

Long Beach police detectives opened an investigation in 2012 after the teen’s father reported her missing. The ensuing probe uncovered evidence that Davis, assisted and counseled by his mother, forced the victim to act as a prostitute at several hotels in Southern California and transported her across state lines to Nevada to engage in commercial sex at Las Vegas casinos, authorities said.

Anderson, when her son was unavailable, helped facilitate the prostitution scheme by transporting the teenager and a second victim to hotels to engage in prostitution, according to court documents.

Anderson also threatened and assaulted the second victim to intimidate her into continuing to make money for Davis through prostitution, according to prosecutors.

Davis, 24, was initially arrested in April 2013 and booked into the Long Beach City Jail on state pandering and human trafficking violations.

According to a case affidavit, Davis told investigators then that he obtained a hotel room for the teenage victim in Las Vegas “out of the goodness of his heart.”

After posting bond in the state case, Davis absconded to the Las Vegas area, where he reunited with the teen and resumed his commercial sex activities, according to prosecutors.

— City News Service 

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