June 26, 2018
Case # 18CF1786
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged today with pimping and pandering two women in Irvine after he had been released from custody on bail for vandalism.
Defendant: Joseph Blake Ballard, 22, Long Beach
Charged today with the following felony counts:
- Human trafficking
- (2) Pimping
- (2) Pandering
- Sentence Enhancements
- Crime – Bail – Crime (felony vandalism in Riverside)
Maximum Sentence: 21 years and four months
Arraignment on June 26, 2018, time to be determined at Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana
Ballard is accused of being a human trafficker/pimp who exploits women for financial gain. With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims. Pimps often establish rigid rules that their victims are expected to follow including requiring victims to speak only when spoken to, address the pimp as “Sir” or “Daddy,” assigning seats in the car based on “rank,” and setting daily quotas that the victims are expected to fulfill. The victims are required to turn over all payment they receive for sex acts from sex purchasers to their pimp. Failure to follow these rules can result in deprivation of food and/or physical and/or emotional abuse.
Circumstances of the Case
- Between April and June 2018, Ballard is accused of trafficking, pimping and pandering 24-year-old Jane Doe 1 by arranging for the victim to engage in commercial sex for his benefit.
- Between June 2017 and June 2018, Ballard is also accused of pimping and pandering Jane Doe 2.
- The defendant is accused of keeping all of the money that both victims made and threatening to harm Jane Doe 1 if she did not make her quotas.
- On June 23, 2018, Ballard is accused of forcing Jane Doe 1 out of the hotel room he shared with the victims.
- Jane Doe 1 contacted the Irvine Police Department (IPD), who located the victim at a gas station in Irvine. The Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) further investigated this case.
- OCHTTF located and arrested the defendant at the hotel. Ballard is accused of having Jane Doe 1’s ID, money, and belongings in his possession.
Members of the OCHTTF and the Orange County District Attorney’s (OCDA) Office work proactively to protect women and minors from falling victim to commercial sexual exploitation. This case was investigated by OCHTTF, a partnership between Anaheim Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Costa Mesa Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Irvine Police Department, Newport Beach Police Department, OCDA, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Ana Police Department, and community and non-profit partners.
Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Bradley Schoenleben, HEAT Unit
Proposition 35 and HEAT
To read more about California’s anti-human trafficking Proposition 35 (Prop 35) and the OCDA’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Unit, please visit www.orangecountyda.org and select Human Trafficking Information from the Media Center drop down menu.