A Bakersfield man charged with human trafficking and related crimes involving two teenagers was given a lengthy state prison sentence Thursday after pleading guilty in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
Marcale Emon Alexander, 34, pleaded guilty before Judge John McGregor, who immediately sentenced him to 19 years and eight months in prison.
Alexander, who was represented by attorney William K. Gamble, is expected to serve 50 percent of the sentence under state guidelines.
The defendant was arrested in Las Vegas in October 2015 after law enforcement officers had been searching for the man who reportedly had been working as a pimp with Brianna Jackson-Robinson. She later pleaded guilty to pandering, and was sentenced to three years in state prison.
Law enforcement officers became aware of Alexander after Jackson-Robinson was arrested when an 18-year-old victim contacted a human-trafficking hotline.
Santa Maria police officers responded to the victim’s location, the Santa Maria Greyhound bus station, where they took Jackson-Robinson into custody.
Authorities learned Alexander and Jackson-Robinson had forced Jane Doe 2 to commit acts of prostitution in Bakersfield, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, and Salinas.
In July 2014, Alexander met the victim, identified only as Jane Doe 1, in Santa Maria and forced the girl to prostitute herself in various cities for two weeks before allowing her to return home to San Luis Obispo.
Originally, Alexander was charged with six felonies, including human trafficking, pandering a minor and pimping for crimes during 2014 and 2015 within Santa Barbara County.
Under the deal, he pleaded guilty to human trafficking of a minor, human trafficking to commit another crime, and two counts of dissuading a witness by force or fear.
One girl was 16 and 17 years old at the time, the second victim was 18 years old.
The judge agreed to drop four other felony charges, including pandering and pimping of an underage girl, in the amended complaint filed Thursday.
“Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 will forever be impacted by the heinous actions of defendant Alexander,” Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian said. “With this plea and sentence, they have a sense of closure. Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 can now focus on their healing, so that they can move from victim to survivor.”
In addition to serving prison time, Alexander must register as a sex offender.
The charges also count as two strikes under the California Three Strikes Sentencing Law.
The plea deal came weeks before Alexander’s trial was set to begin on May 22.
“Our community continues to be shocked that human trafficking occurs in Santa Barbara County,” District Attorney Joyce Dudley. “This case is yet another tragic illustration of the fact that human trafficking does occur here, and that it will be rigorously investigated and vigorously prosecuted.”