OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced the conviction and sentencing of Jing Chiang Huang for her role in an organized crime sex trafficking ring operating across California. Today’s sentence holds Huang accountable for her actions and is the result of cooperative investigative efforts undertaken by the California Department of Justice, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, California Franchise Tax Board, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and numerous local law enforcement agencies.
“Plain and simple: Trafficking young Asian women for sex is criminal,” said Attorney General Bonta. “It’s also part of a long history of objectification in this country that has been part and parcel of the anti-Asian violence we’ve seen across the United States. That’s why I’m grateful to our partners in law enforcement across California whose investigative efforts helped make this case happen. It takes all of us working together across jurisdictions to tackle the complex challenges presented by human trafficking. Today’s sentence is a testament to the fact that when we work cooperatively, we can get the job done. As Attorney General, that will always be one of my core strategies in working to protect the people of California. This case isn’t over yet, but we’ll keep fighting.”
Initially filed on June 26, 2019 before the Santa Clara County Superior Court, the Office of the Attorney General charged Huang and several defendants with a total of more than a dozen felonies that were allegedly committed between 2015 and 2019 related to sex trafficking of multiple victims, tax fraud, and money laundering. The charges came after multiple joint takedown operations resulted in the arrest of Huang and several other defendants, as well as the rescue of more than a dozen suspected victims. As part of the operation, the defendants allegedly used Backpage.com to place advertisements and allegedly deprived individuals of their liberty in order to force them to commit sex acts at multiple brothel locations. The defendants also allegedly withheld at least one survivor’s passport and, as a form of coercion, threatened future job opportunities.
On Jan. 16, 2020, Huang pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit human trafficking, three counts of income tax evasion, and one count of money laundering. Today, as a result of those crimes, she was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in state prison. Huang was also ordered to pay $557,391 in restitution to the California Franchise Tax Board. The California Department of Justice’s case against the other defendants is ongoing. It is important to note that criminal charges are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty.
The initial charges in this case were the result of a joint operation led by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. The operation involved the California Department of Justice, Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Santa Clara Police Department, Santa Clara County Probation Department, Santa Clara County Human Trafficking Task Force, San Jose Police Department, Burlingame Police Department, Fremont Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, Milpitas Police Department, Newark Police Department, Oxnard Police Department, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Sunnyvale Police Department, Tacoma Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and California Franchise Tax Board.
A copy of the most recent amended complaint is available here. The next court date for the other defendants is a preliminary hearing currently set for Aug. 2, 2021.