A judge on Monday sentenced a 19-year-old Stockton man to three years in prison for taking a 16-year-old girl to a Turlock motel, where she had sex with as many as 10 men in exchange for money.
The mitigated prison sentence was the result of a plea deal for defendant Michael Odis Johnson. Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Robert Westbrook ordered him to register with authorities annually as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life after he's released from prison.
The judge also ordered Johnson to not harm the girl, to stay away from her and to not try to communicate with her in person or electronically. Johnson must serve three years of parole when he's released from prison.
Deputy Public Defender Rafael Bito, Johnson's court-appointed attorney, told the judge that his client has already served about year and a half of his sentence while in custody in the county jail. Some of the time served includes credits for good behavior while in custody.
Johnson entered the courtroom Monday morning wearing an orange-and-white jail inmate jumpsuit with shackles on his wrists and ankles. He sat next to his attorney and answered the judge's questions.
Judge Westbrook ordered Johnson not to own or possess any guns or ammunition.
On Sept. 11, Johnson pleaded no contest to one felony count of pandering a minor 16 years old or older. As part of his plea agreement with the prosecution, felony counts of sex trafficking and pimping a minor 16 years old or older were dropped.
Deputy District Attorney Blythe Harris prosecuted the case against Johnson. The defendant must provide DNA samples that will be submitted to a state database for convicted offenders.
Prosecutors formally charged Johnson in October 2016. The sex trafficking investigation began January 2016, when the girl’s mother called Turlock police after the girl was dropped off at home by Johnson, following the nights at the Travelodge Hotel on Glenwood Avenue in Turlock.
The girl told police she was taken to the Turlock motel where, over a two-day period, she had sex with the men. She said the men paid about $800 but that the suspect, 19-year-old Michael Odis Johnson III, took all but $50, according to an arrest affidavit.
Over a few months before she was taken to the Turlock motel, the girl got to know Johnson on social media apps Instagram and Snapchat, investigators learned.
She told investigators Johnson asked her if she was interested in making some money as an escort by posting an ad on an online classified website, backpage.com. She said she dismissed the idea at the time.
Johnson and two unidentified men, picked up the girl at a McDonald’s in Ceres and drove her to the Turlock motel. The girl said she and Johnson agreed to post an escort ad and that she would have sex for money.
After that incident, the girl said, “she realized the severity of what she was doing and did not want to do it anymore,” the affidavit says. “Victim said she was there all alone and was too scared to do or say anything to (Johnson).”
She told police that eight to 10 more sex acts similar to the first occurred over the next two days.