Prosecutor Alleges Accused Human Trafficker and Pimp Continues to Engage in Prostitution Activity While in Custody

By Alex Jimenez

OAKLAND, CA – A pretrial release hearing for Michael L Simon will carry over to Tuesday here in Alameda County Superior Court after the prosecutor claimed Friday that Simon continues to engage in pimping activities while in jail.

Simon is charged with felony pimping, human trafficking for sex, assault, and second-degree robbery, among other charges.

In Friday’s motion for a release on own recognizance, Judge Morris Jacobson heard from both lawyers regarding community safety if Simon were to be released.

Defense Attorney Alanna D. Coopersmith said the arrest report lacks evidence of force and bodily harm based on a vague statement given by the victim who apparently was an associate of Simon’s.

Coopersmith explained the two were having a conversation where the alleged victim handed Simon her car keys and he drove off.

“The charge of robbery is really on the edge but there’s no allegation of force,” said Coopersmith. The question Coopersmith posed to the courts was if this was really a robbery Simon had posed no real threat to community safety.

Deputy District Attorney Lauren Hashimoto took a different approach in her argument, revealing to the courts that Simon had appeared to continue to engage in prostitution activity from jail based on a report written by the DA’s office.

The report indicates that there are jail calls and jail visits relating to the activity and more calls are expected to come forth, adding, said the DDA, “He was talking to one of the females about going outside to solicit for dates indicating that she had made $1,000 dollars in one night.”

The concern articulated by Hashimoto is that Simon will continue to “pick up vulnerable girls and force them into this life” and therefore is a risk to public safety if he continues to engage in such activities.

Judge Jacobson later expressed interest in discovering if this activity had occurred recently and is ongoing.

With the new calls expected to be reviewed by the DA’s office, Judge Jacobson wanted to delay a final decision until Jan. 25/Tuesday, giving both sides time to review the calls.

“I am very interested if these activities are recent. I want to know all that factors into this,” said the judge.

About The Author

Alex Jimenez is a 4th year politcal science major at the University of Calfornia, Berkeley. He has future aspirations to attend law school and is from Pleasanton, Ca.

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