A family counselor was charged on Thursday with a slew of felony charges, among them the coercion of a then-15-year-old girl into prostitution, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office.
Daron Lamar Whitworth, 42, of San Bernardino, was arrested Thursday for his role in allegedly selling sexual services on the Internet.
As a family specialist with EMQ FamiliesFirst, Whitworth was responsible for providing guidance and support for children and their families and caregivers.
The non-profit organization offers mental health treatment, foster care and social services to aid families’ recovery from trauma, abuse and addiction, according to the organization’s website.
Whitworth is among three people suspected in the alleged pimping ring.
An arrest warrant has been issued for Jacory C. Williams, 30, of San Bernardino, for his alleged role in assisting Whitworth, officials said. Charmaine Williams, 24, of San Bernardino, was also named in the complaint filed Thursday and is in custody in Los Angeles County on unrelated charges.
All three face the following felony charges, according to the county DA:
- human trafficking,
- pimping a minor under 16 years of age,
- pandering by procuring a minor under age 16,
- child abuse,
- procuring a child to engage in a lewd act,
- contact and communicating with a minor for a sexual offense,
- multiple counts of unlawful sexual Intercourse with a minor,
- corporal Injury to cohabitant,
- false imprisonment by violence,
- and sodomy of a person under 18.
"I refuse to stand by and allow our children, or anybody for that matter, to be sold for sex and someone else’s pleasure," said District Attorney Michael Ramos. "This is a war as far as I am concerned, so pimps beware."
Investigators were tipped off to the alleged trafficking in August 2012 after a juvenile was arrested in Hemet on suspicion of street prostitution, officials said. Investigators said a "significant portion" of the alleged crimes occurred within in San Bernardino County.
Investigators believe there may be more victims related to this case. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. John Sawyer at (951) 544-7000.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Bureau, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were all involved in the investigation.