ROHNERT PARK (CBS SF) — A Santa Rosa man and his mother pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning in Sonoma County Superior Court to allegedly operating a brothel in Rohnert Park.

David Scott Romesburg II, 38, and Fay Romesburg, 59, were arrested by the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety on Jan. 26 for alleged pimping and pandering. The alleged prostitution business employed approximately 150 women over 10 years, public safety officials said.

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Court hearings on the complaint by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office have been continued since January. The Romesburgs are now scheduled to appear in court Aug. 8 for a disposition of the case or the setting of a preliminary hearing date.

Charles Applegate, Fay Romesburg’s attorney, told the court Tuesday morning there is “substantial movement to a resolution.”

David Romesburg is charged with human trafficking, pimping, encouraging prostitution, money laundering and unlawful intercourse with a person under 18. He is being held in the Sonoma County Jail.

Fay Romesburg is out of custody. She is charged with pimping and pandering.

The Romesburgs operated the brothel in a house on Alvarado Avenue in Santa Rosa then moved it to an apartment in Rohnert Park, Department of Public Safety Sgt. Jeff Justice said in January.

Statements by the prostitutes and records found in the Santa Rosa house show the Romesburgs planned to open Black Cat Industries, a gaming and karaoke studio in a shopping center on Southwest Boulevard in Rohnert Park that they would use to host clients of the prostitutes, according to public safety officials.

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The Romesburgs applied for a business license intending to open the business on Feb. 1, but they did not receive a permit and the license was
denied, Justice said.

Rohnert Park public safety officials said they spoke to eight of the woman allegedly employed by the Romesburgs. One woman was under 18 years old when she was recruited to work for them and another woman said she was sexually assaulted during her “interview,” public safety officials said.

The women said David Romesburg posted ads online for their services and he responded to inquiries to the ads, according to public safety officials.

David Romesburg told the women when to meet the clients, and the women paid a portion of the money they received to the Romesburgs, according to the Department of Public Safety.

Sonoma County Superior Court records show David Romesburg pleaded no contest to unlawful sex with a minor in 2003 and he was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor under 16 years old in 2001.

All the women employed by the Romesburgs are considered victims or witnesses to the brothel operation, public safety officials said.

 

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