RIVERSIDE – With the judge who took her plea unavailable, sentencing was postponed today for a Moreno Valley woman who put a 14-year-old girl to work as a prostitute.
Kayla Corithian Jackson, 19, pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy and false imprisonment. She had been charged with five sex trafficking-related felonies, but those counts were dropped under a plea agreement negotiated between the defense and the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office.
Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez took the plea and was slated to certify the agreement today but had an unanticipated scheduling conflict and was not on the bench. Retired Judge Jean Leonard was sitting in for him and postponed Jackson’s sentencing to Aug. 29.
The defendant is facing a maximum 12 years behind bars, according to Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gerald Fineman.
She remains free on $85,000 bail.
Prosecutors allege that, at Jackson’s direction, the victim provided sexual services for men who responded to ads posted on social networking websites.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the girl, whose identity was not released, left her Moreno Valley home in late February 2013 without telling her mother where she was going or with whom.
When the youth failed to return, her mother suspected she might be with Jackson because the teenager had begun consorting with the defendant on a regular basis, Fineman told City News Service.
He said the victim’s mother reported her daughter missing on March 1, 2013, leading to an investigation by the county’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force.
Investigators checked websites where ads for escorts appear and came upon a mobile phone number belonging to the girl, according to the sheriff’s department.
Deputies working undercover made several calls and were able to determine that the teen was staying at a motel near the intersection of Alessandro Boulevard and Graham Street.
Jackson was arrested at the location. The girl, who had been there about a day, was found unharmed, Fineman said.
According to investigators, Jackson’s phone records indicated she had been engaged in illicit sexual activity prior to her arrest.
Court records show a prior misdemeanor conviction for shoplifting.