ROHNERT PARK (CBS SF) — A Santa Rosa man and his mother were convicted in Sonoma County Superior Court Wednesday morning of charges related to the operation of a brothel in Rohnert Park and Santa Rosa in 2017 and this year.
David Scott Romesburg II, 38, pleaded no contest Wednesday to one count each of felony pimping, pandering and money laundering, while Fay Romesburg, 59, pleaded guilty to one count of pandering.
David Romesburg faces up to 16 years in state prison when he is sentenced Oct. 25, and some of the six victims are expected to address the court at the anticipated lengthy sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Laura Passaglia said.
Fay Romesburg will be sentenced to one year in Sonoma County Jail and probation as part of the plea agreement.
Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety officers arrested the Romesburgs on Jan. 26 for pimping and pandering. The prostitution business employed approximately 150 women over 10 years, department officials said at the time.
Court hearings on the complaint by the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office have been continued since the two were arrested.
David Romesburg was charged with human trafficking, pimping, encouraging prostitution, money laundering and unlawful intercourse with a person under 18. He remains in Sonoma County Jail. Fay Romesburg was charged with pimping and pandering and is out of custody.
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 the Department of Public Safety.
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 officials said they spoke to eight of the women 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.
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. One of the two felony strikes against him will be dismissed at sentencing, Passaglia said.
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