Lake County man faces trial in human trafficking case
A Clearlake man who was arrested on charges of human trafficking, pimping, pandering and abuse of a dependent adult in February, will face trial in Lake County Superior Court. A preliminary hearing on July 19 found enough evidence existed to proceed with the case against Timothy Lee Williams, said Lake County District Attorney Don Anderson.
Williams, 53, is alleged to have involved four women in sex trafficking operations. They include a 22-year-old developmentally disabled woman who was coerced into performing sexual acts for money which Williams then kept for himself, Anderson said.
“It is very unfortunate that suspects engaging in human trafficking often find women victims that are young or very vulnerable,” Anderson said Tuesday in a statement.
Investigators with the District Attorney’s Office uncovered Williams’ alleged trafficking activities during an undercover sting operation in Clearlake Oaks.
Agents met a suspected prostitute at a local motel, where the woman offered sex acts for money. The woman was detained and questioned by investigators, who determined she was a victim of trafficking, according to Anderson.
Williams was arrested in the parking lot of the motel as he waited for the woman and money. Subsequent investigations led to the discovery of two other women working for Williams, Anderson said.
His next court appearance is set for July 31.
Anderson cautioned Lake County residents to be watchful for signs of abuse or trafficking. Many victims are being recruited while still in high school, and authorities have identified 13 victims of trafficking in 2018 alone, he said.
“We are making a plea to teachers, counselors, women’s groups and advocates, as well as parents to become aware of the signs of human trafficking,” Anderson said.