It was a high profile case where the Yolo County District Attorney made regional headlines accusing 21-year-old Jeremiah Bessolo-Marsh of human trafficking. But Mr. Bessolo-Marsh, who had no priors, plead to charges that he had sex with a minor, furnished her with drugs and dissuaded her from coming forward.
Importantly, while he was able to get probation, he did take an eight year, eight month suspended sentence which potentially left him very vulnerable if he should violate probation.
On Monday, he will be back before Judge David Rosenberg, facing exactly that. On February 14, Yolo County Probation said they conducted a probation search of his Sacramento residence and found a single 9 mm bullet on the window sill of the only window in his bedroom.
According to the report, on February 20, when he went to the West Sacramento Probation Office, he was placed under arrest for felony violation of possession of ammunition by a prohibited person and a felony violation of probation.
Probation does note that if the counts are found to be true, “This would be the defendant’s first violation of probation since he was granted probation on September 4, 2018” and therefore they are withholding any recommendation as to what to do.
At this time, his probation has been revoked and he has been ordered to appear before the court.
The evidence last year showed that Mr. Bessolo-Marsh, who was discharged from the army, met the girl at a party and she fell in love with him.
She was 16. He was a 21-year-old who had been in the military.
She ended up dropping out of school and spent nearly all her time with the defendant. This occurred even after he became homeless and lost his job.
The couple used drugs together – cocaine, acid, and meth. In order to support this drug habit and cover other expenses, they begged for money, sold drugs, and sold nude photos of her and videos on Snapchat.
She acknowledged in her testimony that the photos were her idea and something that she had contemplated before she even met Mr. Bessolo-Marsh. She said that after a few days she didn’t like doing them, however, as she had fallen in love. He did continue to sell the photos and videos on social media without her permission.
The drug use that began prior to their meeting each other intensified during the course of their relationship, as he became homeless and she left her home to be with him.
Judge Rosenberg held Mr. Bessolo-Marsh to answer for his charges.
He said, “It’s clear to the court that C was often the instigator of the conduct and was a willing participant. But Mr. Bessolo is an adult, and the victim in this case is a minor, and that reality overrides everything.”
Under the plea agreement he received five years of formal probation. He also was required to undergo drug and alcohol treatment. He was required to register as a sex offender for the next ten years. And he was required to refrain from contacting the alleged victim in this case.
The plea agreement came with the eight year, eight month suspended sentence.
—David M. Greenwald reporting