A 28-year-old San Jose man was sentenced Friday to more than nine years in prison for trying to force a young woman into prostitution and succeeding with another.
According to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, Chineda “Major Mac” Nwuzi was convicted earlier this year of false imprisonment, criminal threats, pandering and human trafficking. All the charges are felonies. The human trafficking charge was a first for San Jose police.
“Human traffickers prey upon the most vulnerable members of our society,” prosecutor Leigh Frazier said. “They may make promises to their victims of a better life, but these relationships always end in violence, intimidation, and sexual exploitation.”
Experts say that the numbers of “commercially sexually exploited children” are rising dramatically throughout the U.S. Many have suffered prior sexual and physical abuse.
According to prosecutors, Nwuzi offered his victim, a transient from Waco, Texas, a ride and a hotel room in San Jose, but the next day he demanded money from the victim to pay for the room. To pay him back, Nwuzi ordered the woman to work as a prostitute for him and had already posted an ad for her services online. The victim balked at the suggestion of prostitution and Nwuzi reportedly threatened to beat her. She fled the room and called 911, resulting in Nwuzi’s arrest.
District attorney investigators conducted a forensic analysis of Nwuzi’s laptop and discovered evidence of prostitution. They also found explicit photographs that led them to a 17-year-old girl from a group home. Nwuzi was also charged with exploiting her as a prostitute.
“These men are master manipulators,” San Jose Police Det. Jeremy Martinez said. “With some of these women, they truly believe the traffickers were their boyfriends. The women are seeking love. The men are seeking money.”
Both victims in this case were aided by the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking, which provides shelter, food, and counseling to victims of such crimes. They also provided funds for the adult victim to return home to Texas.
Members of the public are encouraged to report cases of possible human trafficking to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888 or the San Jose Police Department’s Human Trafficking task force at (408) 537-1999.