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Defendants trafficked Filipino immigrants using threats of arrest or deportations, confiscation of documents, and assault
SAN MATEO — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced that a San Mateo County Superior Court judge imposed prison sentences for three members of the Gamos Family, who were found guilty by jury of human trafficking and labor-related crimes in the Bay Area. The Gamos Family committed these crimes over the course of a decade from 2008 to 2018 while operating Rainbow Bright, an adult residential and child care company in the Bay Area. The defendants targeted members of the Filipino community, many of whom were recent immigrants to the United States, for human trafficking and labor exploitation. The defendants trafficked many of the victims using threats of arrest and deportation, false promises to assist with immigration, and by confiscating passports. Joshua Gamos physically abused one of the victims.
“The jury returned 38 felony guilty verdicts with multiple enhancements and aggravating factors against these defendants,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “However, today’s sentencing did not recognize the level of horror that the Rainbow Bright victims experienced at the hands of the Gamos Family. And after ten years of abuse and nearly five years of court proceedings, today’s sentencing only put them through more trauma. The victims showed resilience and courage throughout the proceedings. We stand with them and will continue our fight to protect all Californians from injustice — because all Californians deserve dignity and respect.”
Rainbow Bright employees were required to live and work in care homes and daycare facilities for hours far exceeding a normal work day, and forced to sleep on floors and in garages. Some employees reported being locked outside when defendants were not home. Rainbow Bright defendants deterred the employees from leaving the dismal working conditions by regularly threatening to turn the employees over to U.S. immigration officials and by confiscating some employees’ passports.
The jury found that the defendants took over $500,000 in the commission of the scheme; the victims were vulnerable; and that defendants acted with intent to cause great bodily injury and with cruelty, viciousness, and callousness. Sentencing was originally scheduled for August, but was further delayed when the defendants filed a motion for a new trial, which were denied on January 31.
The court imposed the following sentences in state prison:
Gerlen Gamos, 42, previously pleaded guilty on January 30, 2019, to two counts of grand theft and will be sentenced at a later date.
The restitution hearing is scheduled for March 2, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.
Throughout the course of the case, the California Department of Justice’s Victims’ Services Unit worked with the San Mateo County District Attorney's Victims’ Services Unit and victim service providers to provide resources for survivors and their families, and to offer support and information at every stage of the prosecution.
More broadly, VSU works in conjunction with victim service providers and frontline prosecutors all across the state to provide victim-centered, trauma-informed, and culturally-sensitive support services to all crime victims, including underserved, at-risk, underrepresented, and vulnerable populations. More information about VSU is available here. General information and resources for survivors of sexual assault and violence is available here.
Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery where perpetrators profit from the control and exploitation of men, women, and children for sex or labor through force, fraud, or coercion. Human trafficking does not require movement across borders. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were more than 1,300 human trafficking cases reported in California in 2020 — more than any other state in the nation. In California, human trafficking is prevalent in the hospitality, commercial sex, domestic work, and construction industries. Victims of human trafficking are also found among migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, providers of residential care, and in California’s garment sector.
If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, you can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. Additional information and resources to support survivors of human trafficking is available here.