Victim shares that she is committed to a better future

SAN LUIS OBISPO — San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow announced on Friday, May 21, that Lucion Lee Edwards Banks (DOB 03/29/83) of Sacramento has been sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison for human trafficking a 14-year-old female in San Luis Obispo County. 

On Mar. 15, a San Luis Obispo County jury found Banks (38) guilty of trafficking the 14-year-old survivor by use of force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury.  

The conviction resulted from a run-of-the-mill traffic enforcement stop by San Luis Obispo City Police Officer Quenten Rouse, which quickly revealed evidence that Banks was involved in trafficking the young survivor for commercial sexual exploitation. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

The Honorable Judge Barry T. LaBarbera sentenced Banks to 15 years to life in state prison. Additionally, Banks is required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

The young survivor, identified in court as Jane Doe, attended the sentencing hearing and provided a powerful description of how the crime has impacted her life, focusing on her commitment to a better future. 

“I am glad to say; I feel no more fear. I am going to graduate high school. I am going to beauty school. And, also, I am going to have my own apartment,” Jane Doe told to the Court. “I feel like if the San Luis Obispo Police Department did not make that stop, that he would have kept hitting me and using me.” 

“This conviction and sentence is further proof of the importance of our anti-human trafficking task force and the sad reality that human trafficking of minors is happening here in San Luis Obispo County,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “The District Attorney’s Office will continue to do everything within our power to prevent future children from being trafficked in our community and hold traffickers accountable for their crimes.”  

In addition to local law enforcement witnesses, an expert witness from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Inspector Tim Bergquist, testified on the subject of human trafficking, explaining the dynamics and sub-culture of human trafficking to the jury. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley has been a California state-wide leader on combating trafficking and created HEAT Watch several years ago.

The District Attorney’s Office gives recognition and thanks to our partners who assisted in this case over the past two years: San Luis Obispo City Police Department, San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Family Care Network, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Inspector Division, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Bureau of Investigation, Christopher G. Money Victim Witness Assistance Center, and our Child Abuse Interview Team (CAIT).

This case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo City Police Department with the assistance of the District Attorney Bureau of Investigation; it was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Christopher B. White.

If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave – whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, construction, factory, retail or restaurant work, or any other activity call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1(888)373-7888 or Text 233733 (BE FREE).

Locally you may contact: Crime Stoppers at (805)549-STOP; text “SLOTIPS” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). You can also call the District Attorney Victim Witness Assistance Center at (805)781-5821 or toll-free at (866)781-5821.

Also, please visit our website slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/District-Attorney/Victim-Witness-Assistance-Center/Human-Trafficking.aspx for more information on the Anti-Human Trafficking Taskforce and available resources.