Duo charged with trafficking 16-year-old Utah girl they met in Las Vegas

Stock image | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Las Vegas man and woman have been charged with trafficking and pimping a 16-year-old Utah girl in California.

Brandon Antwan Hunter and Danielle Beniese Bates, both 31, were arraigned Tuesday on felony counts of human trafficking, pimping and pandering of a minor over 16 by procuring. Hunter was additionally charged with unlawful sex with a minor.

Hunter is an alleged human trafficker/pimp who Bates had been working for as a prostitute and recruiting other women to prostitute for him, according to a statement issued by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office in California.

In early November, Hunter and Bates met a 16-year-old girl from Utah in Las Vegas and trafficked her to Costa Mesa, California, the district attorney’s office said, but did not specify what part of Utah the girl is from, her reason for being in Las Vegas or how she met the couple.

L to R: Danielle Beniese Bates and Brandon Antwan Hunter, both 31 and both of Las Vegas, Nevada | Photos courtesy of Orange County District Attorney’s Office, St. George News

“Between Nov. 20, 2017, and Nov. 24, 2017, Hunter is accused of having unlawful sex with the victim and pimping her by arranging for Jane Doe to meet with sex purchasers,” the district attorney said. “Hunter is accused of taking all money the victim received from commercial sex for his own benefit.”

Hunter and Bates were arrested Nov. 24 when they got into a fight with each other at a motel in Costa Mesa, California, the district attorney’s office said, adding that police were called by a patron of the motel.

As officers investigated the incident, they discovered the teenage girl in the room and identified her as a potential victim of human trafficking.

“In the pimp/prostitution subculture, pimps exploit women and/or children for financial gain often assign ranks to the women they exploit,” the district attorney’s office stated. “With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims.”

Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow, including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” assigning seats in the car based on “rank” and setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill, the statement said, noting:

The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical or emotional abuse.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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  • mctrialsguy November 30, 2017 at 11:45 am

    You can find people that look just like these two outside of every Greyhound bus station in every major city waiting to offer runaway teens a lift and assistance, and then they abuse them, hooked them on drugs and pimp them out after they have used them themselves. It’s called getting back at whitey thru their enslaved kids! No one does anything about it until someone individually gets caught with one of them under 18, which is rarely as they keep them in their apartments or motels in neighborhoods that the police do not wish to enter. Something has needed to be done regarding this issue for decades, but no one ever does anything on a major scale. By the time these teens reach 18, they are too drugged out or scared to testify. The issue has been ignored forever. Sometimes there is an article on an isolated incident such as this, but then everyone in the public sector moves on to their safe little lives while others suffer alone. Do something about it! Now I await your stupid politically correct comments….

    • comments November 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

      United states is devolving into a 3rd world country

      • comments November 30, 2017 at 4:54 pm

        no morality, either

    • ladybugavenger December 1, 2017 at 6:18 am

      You got that right MC. It’s a sad, dark world.

  • mesaman November 30, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    Which one is the male?

    • jaltair November 30, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      In answer, the one that doesn’t have the fat lip.

      These clowns are disgusting and I agree there needs to be a greater awareness of this issue and that police need to take more action in the communities that host this activity.

  • Aubree December 5, 2017 at 6:27 pm


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