A Sacramento woman who had herself been forced into prostitution at a young age was formally sentenced on Thursday for her role in recruiting and grooming a 15-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution three years ago.
Chantel Williams, 27, was introduced to the underage girl after the girl found herself alone in San Francisco in July 2017, having run away from home in another state and then abandoned by a friend she was traveling with. A stranger who met the girl on a city bus pointed her toward Williams as a way of potentially making some money. According to prosecutors, Williams then took the girl to Sacramento to meet her boyfriend and pimp, Jordan Haywood, and what followed was a monthlong series of sexual traumas in which they took the girl on a tour of California and Arizona, staying in hotels where they "marketed" her online.
As the Mercury News reports, after being forced to see a client who raped her for a second "date," and apparently after Williams and Haywood discovered the girl's real age, they dropped her off in mid-August 2017 in East Palo Alto with no cellphone and no way to get anywhere.
A defense attorney argued that the judge should be lenient in sentencing Williams after she, too, had gone through similar sexual and emotional trauma. But prosecutors argued that because of Williams' own experience she should have been more mindful of recruiting another victim for Haywood.
"The minor victim cried from the pain and asked to go home, but Ms. Williams and her co-defendant forced her to continue,” wrote assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Rubino in a sentencing memo.
Haywood was sentenced to seven years in prison back in November 2019, and last week Williams was sentenced to six years and nine months.
Williams' attorney wrote in a memo that she remains "deeply remorseful."