A San Diego man, Harvey Rashad McKnight, will be in court this morning to face charges of Human Rafficking. He is facing three charges of pimping involving three women and another charge of sexual trafficking. McKnight is 29 years old and if convicted of these offences he could be sentenced to 28 years in prison.
In November, California passed the anti-human trafficking law in Proposition 35. The arrest followed an investigation by the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit (HEAT) of the California District Attorney’s office. A statement from the DA office describes McKnight as a modern day slave owner engaged in obtaining financial gain through the sexual exploitation of women.
The charges against McKnight include forcible confinement. It is alleged that he took one of the women to Las Vegas from San Diego where he threated to leave her beaten naked on the street without a cell phone if she did not prostitute herself to make money for him. He advertised the sexual services of the women on a website, but the office is not revealing what the name or URL of this online site. Plans to catch McKnight fell into place when police officers from the Santa Ana department posed as johns and met the women involved in a city hotel room on March 8, 2013.
The woman that had been brought from San Diego told her story to the police officer. Later in the same motel room, police officers were able to talk to the other two women involved. When the accused arrived at the location to collect his money, the police officers were there to arrest him. Upon conducting a check of his cell phone, investigators in the case confirmed that there were messages from the victims, all of whom referred to him as "Daddy."
The charges against McKnight are as follows:
- One count of human trafficking
- Three counts of pimping
- Three counts of pandering by procuring
All of these are very serious felony charges. With the evidence collected in the investigation, McKnight will be arraigned in court on June 5, 2013.