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California pair face new sex trafficking charges

A California pair being held in the Jackson County Jail on charges including human trafficking now face additional federal charges for a similar crime in California’s Central Valley, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.

Lucious James Roy Jr., 32, faces two counts of sex trafficking of a child in U.S. District Court in California’s Eastern District, and alleged co-conspirator Dawniel Lea Santangelo, 41, faces a single count of the same offense. The pair were indicted July 25.

A California grand jury charged that between September and November 2018 in San Joaquin County Roy knowingly recruited and provided a minor for the purposes of prostitution. The grand jury indicted Roy and Santangelo together for trafficking another minor during the same time period.

The mandatory minimum sentence for sex trafficking of a child is 10 years in prison, or a fine of up to $250,000, or both.

The charges were initially sealed, as prosecutors stated the pair posed a flight risk and making the charges public before the arrests could jeopardize the investigation, according to a petition. The charges were unsealed Aug. 1 after federal warrants were served July 31.

Roy and Santangelo were arrested May 10 in Medford on state charges alleging human trafficking and compelling prostitution of a minor, as well as unlawful delivery of marijuana.

On July 19, Roy received five state charges of tampering with a witness, and he allegedly attempted to convince the minor to offer false testimony or withhold testimony through a third party.

In the state case, Roy’s two-day trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 27. Santangelo’s trial is scheduled Sept. 18. No court appearances have been scheduled in the federal case.

Lucious James Roy Jr.
Lucious James Roy Jr., left, and Dawniel Lea Santangelo, both of Stockton, California, are each accused of compelling a 15-year-old into prostitution. Medford police photos.