A Los Angeles man charged with pimping out a 16-year-old Fresno girl he brought to Santa Rosa last month was released from jail Wednesday and all charges against him dropped when witnesses to the case — including the victim — failed to show for his preliminary hearing, prosecutors said.
Sonoma County Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook said the case "highlights the difficulties" of human trafficking cases, but said her office would "continue diligently to pursue these cases."
Chuncy Tarae Garcia, 32, was arrested April 3 after Rohnert Park police had contact with the girl, who said she'd been picked up in Oakland two weeks earlier and brought to Santa Rosa as a prostitute, police said. When she refused to participate, she was sexually and physically assaulted, and then dropped off in Rohnert Park, she told police.
Further investigation led police to the Extended Stay America on Corby Avenue, where a search of two rooms turned up evidence of prostitution, several other woman working for Garcia and the suspect, police said.
He was arrested and charged with suspicion of having unlawful intercourse with a minor and pimping a minor, both felonies, authorities said.
But the victim and the other witnesses — other prostitutes — did not appear when they were called to testify at his preliminary hearing on Wednesday morning, and the judge had to dismiss the case, Cook said.
Garcia was later released from the Sonoma County Jail, jail personnel said.