A Lompoc man was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of sending explicit images and recruiting a minor to perform sex services, authorities said.
Detectives with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department Special Investigation Bureau arrested 34-year-old Benito Rodriguez Bravo on Tuesday following a two-week investigation.
“Bravo reportedly created an advertisement on the internet where he attempted to recruit and hire females for the purposes of engaging in nude housecleaning and erotic massages,” Raquel Zick, sheriff’s spokeswoman, said in a news release.
During the investigation, detectives posed as a 16-year-old girl while communicating with Mr. Bravo, who attempted to recruit the minor to have sex with high-paying customers and promised payments of $5,000 per week, Ms. Zick said.
Mr. Bravo arranged a meeting with the girl in the city of Goleta. Detectives were conducting surveillance of Mr. Bravo and he was arrested when he arrived at the location. Authorities believe he was acting alone and wasn’t only recruiting females, but also posing as the potential client.
“It appears Bravo had no intention to pay for any of the services he was planning to receive,” Ms. Zick said.
He was booked into County Jail on suspicion of arranging a meeting with a minor, human trafficking of a minor, contacting a minor with intent for sex, sending harmful material to a minor with attempt to seduce, attempt to commit crime and pandering – all felonies. He also had an outstanding warrant for a violation of probation and domestic violence. He is being held without bail, Ms. Zick said.
Authorities are looking for additional victims related to this case. Those with information are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.