SANTA CLARA COUNTY (KCBS)— An Oakland man who allegedly listed a teen girl for sex on a website and then was arrested when that site turned him in, pled not guilty Wednesday.
32-year-old Patrick Leo Simmons was charged with human trafficking in Santa Clara County Superior Court. He’s being held on $1 million dollars bail after allegedly picking up the underage girl from a bible study she attended with her mother. Prosecutor said Simmons exploited the girl as a sex worker out of a Sunnyvale motel and had known her for weeks.READ MORE: Support for Windsor Mayor Crumbles as Details of Alleged Sexual Misconduct Emerge
Santa Clara Deputy District Attorney Carlos Vega said the website where the victim was being advertised for sex, backpage.com, ended up helping authorities catch the suspect. The site offered a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children which confirmed the girl was underage.READ MORE: Hundreds at Bay Area Rallies March to Support Asian Americans
From there, San Jose police arranged for a date with the victim and nabbed Simmons when he showed up at the scene. He had over $6,000 in cash and a key to the victim’s hotel room.MORE NEWS: Former Sebastopol Mayor Arrested on Suspicion of Sexual Assault Against a Minor
Simmons could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the felony charge and five other related charges. He’s already served time for similar crimes in Orange County. He’ll be back in court on March 9th.