2015 Staffing
Support Staff4

The Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division is comprised of a highly-trained and specialized team of Deputy District Attorneys, District Attorney Investigators, paralegals and secretaries who are all dedicated to aggressive and just prosecution of perpetrators of sexual assault and human trafficking crimes. Guided by Division Chief John Rice and Assistant Chief Kristen Spieler, the division strives to treat the victims of sexual assaults with compassion, dignity, and respect.

ht_poster_lgAttorneys and staff in this division handled a number of significant cases including prosecutions for sexually motivated homicide, sexual assaults by strangers, acquaintances or family members, lewd acts with children, non-domestic violence stalking, human trafficking, pimping, pandering, failing to properly register as sexual offenders, indecent exposure and civil commitments of sexually-violent predators.

We continue to see a rise in the prosecution of human trafficking, primarily in conjunction with pimping and pandering charges. Felons intent on profiting from this illicit business seduce vulnerable young women and minors into the underworld of prostitution throughout the county. The division not only prosecutes offenders, but it works with law enforcement and community-based organizations, which try to rehabilitate the victims and re-integrate them back into society.

The division is committed to protecting the community from sexually-violent predators through the pursuit of civil commitment petitions resulting in hospitalization and treatment of those offenders found to be a substantial danger to the public. The division works to keep the public safe and informed as sexually-violent predators reach the community treatment phase through community notification and public meetings.

Significant cases in 2015 included:

People v. Ted Amparan
From March 2007 to September 2011, Ted Amparan picked up women he believed were prostitutes on El Cajon Boulevard, drove them to secluded locations and raped or assaulted them. A total of nine women were victimized. A separate initial suspect was charged with three of the victims but was later exonerated by DNA. Amparan’s DNA eventually connected him to several of the assaults. The case was prosecuted in April and May of 2015 in connection with seven of the victims. The jury convicted Amparan on all counts and he was sentenced to 75 years-to-life in prison plus 22 years.

People v. Stacy Butler Jr.
On December 7, 2013, a 17-year-old girl walked to her apartment complex laundry room to change loads, when Butler, who was lurking in the laundry room, attacked her from behind. He grabbed her and tried to pull down her pants, but she was able to break free. Her father ran to the laundry room and detained Butler until police arrived. Butler committed a similar assault against an acquaintance in June of 2010. That case was initially rejected, but was charged in light of the more recent attack. The jury convicted Butler in both cases and he was sentenced to 14 years-to-life in prison plus 33 years.

People v. Leonardo Gomez
On the evening of October 11, 2014, the victim was alone, asleep in her apartment when she awoke to a strange man standing in her kitchen. He quickly approached her, put a knife to her throat and asked what she was most afraid of. After trying to talk him out of it, Gomez repeatedly raped and sodomized the victim. During the assault he used a condom, but licked her ear leaving his DNA. When he left he took the victim’s phone. She had to break into a neighbor’s apartment to contact the police over a computer connection. Gomez had recently been released from the Department of Juvenile Justice for a similar offense. The court convicted him of all counts and allegations during a bench trial and he was sentenced to 81 years-to-life in prison.

People v. David Drake
The North Park community was terrorized from April to August 2014 by a series of brutal assaults of young women walking alone on the streets at night. Seven victims were approached from behind and hit in the face, in most cases causing unconsciousness. Several of the women were sexually penetrated by their assailant during the struggle. Police set up surveillance cameras throughout the neighborhood and one video captured the assailant wearing a distinctive T-shirt that bore the logo of a local eatery. Detectives went to the eatery to investigate and have lunch, when Drake approached to take their order. He was immediately arrested. DNA connected Drake to some of the assaults. He pleaded guilty to charges involving all the victims and is expected to be sentenced to 45 years in prison plus an additional 12 years.