An ex-con who used physical abuse and threats to make a young woman work as a call girl in cities throughout the Inland Empire was sentenced Friday to 24 years in state prison.
Lawrence Lamont Randall, 33, of Hemet pleaded guilty last month to three counts of pimping, one count of assault and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, along with sentence-enhancing great bodily injury allegations.
In exchange for his admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges of unlawfully depriving a person of personal liberty and procuring an individual for the purpose of prostitution.
Superior Court Judge Paul Dickerson certified the terms of the plea agreement and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. John Sawyer, in late April 2017, a 19-year-old woman, whose identity was not disclosed, told investigators that she had been intimidated into working for Randall, who forced her to provide sexual services in the cities of Hemet, Palm Springs, Pomona and San Bernardino.
Sawyer alleged the defendant would advertise the young woman’s availability via an online classifieds site, or make her find clients in “well-known prostitution corridors.”
“The victim was compelled to participate in these commercial sex acts through threats or acts of violence against her,” the sergeant said. “These acts of violence included Randall choking the victim, hitting her head against a wall, threatening her with a firearm and burning lit cigarettes against her bare skin.”
The woman remained under his control for about six weeks, according to Sawyer.
Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task force investigators were able to corroborate some of the victim’s allegations through another woman who had worked for the defendant, Sawyer said.
Randall was stopped and arrested without incident on May 10, 2017, in the area of Oakland Avenue and Santa Fe Street, the same day deputies raided his property on East Devonshire Avenue.
According to court records, the defendant has prior convictions for evading arrest, possession of drugs for sale and disturbing the peace.