February 21, 2024

OAKLAND — A San Leandro man who had been charged with trafficking and raping his former girlfriend has agreed to serve eight years in state jail as a part of a plea deal, Alameda County prosecutors introduced Monday.

Ricky Levi, 31, pleaded no contest to a single human trafficking depend in alternate for prosecutors dropping a number of extra felony prices associated to alleged pimping and sexual assault of the sufferer. He’s set to be formally sentenced to eight years in March.

Levi was arrested and charged in 2021. At his March 2022 preliminary listening to, his sufferer — recognized in courtroom information solely by the pseudonym Jane Doe — testified that she met Levi when he approached her at a bus cease in San Francisco and the 2 began a romantic relationship quickly after.

She testified that she thought of herself a “hustler” and willingly prostituted herself to become profitable for them. She mentioned she stored about $50 of each $200 she made and gave the remaining to Levi.

Her angle towards their association modified when Levi grew to become bodily abusive, she testified. One instance was when he backhand-slapped her in Los Angeles, leaving a mark on her face, she mentioned, including that he would additionally often remind her that she was a prostitute, and never — as she appreciated to place it — a hustler.

“He simply changed into this monster. Like he changed into an entire completely different individual,” Doe testified. “He would sweat, simply his eyes, simply his demeanor, the way in which he talked. He would, you realize, simply make me really feel nervous. He would simply make me scared. You understand, like he’ll hit me with a belt buckle. He’ll make me give him oral (intercourse). He’s simply, very irrational.”

At a sure level, Levi determined he didn’t need to be a pimp anymore and commenced working at a warehouse in Hayward, Doe testified. However they stored in touch, and he ended up sexually assaulting her at knifepoint one night time inside a car, she mentioned on the witness stand. As soon as she broke away from him, she started dwelling in a home violence shelter.

On the preliminary listening to, Levi’s lawyer, Elliot Silver, argued prosecutors did not show that human trafficking, which requires that the sufferer be pressured or coerced into prostitution, had occurred.

“An entire lack of her private liberty, I simply don’t suppose it exists,” Silver mentioned on the listening to. “She mentioned she had her personal cash. She had her personal place to remain. She instructed us that she did this for love, as a lot because it appears uncommon in a scenario like this.”

In 2022, Levi’s sister wrote a assist letter to the courtroom saying the allegations have been out of character for him and describing him as “sort, courteous, vibrant, bold and useful.”

In a information launch highlighting the plea deal, Alameda County District Lawyer Pamela Worth famous that January is Human Trafficking Consciousness Month and added her workplace is devoted to “stopping human trafficking, elevating consciousness about this type of modern-day slavery, and doing what we will to fight it.”

Worth added that Levi’s conviction “demonstrates that in 2024, we’re beginning the 12 months doing as a lot as we will to prosecute and convict anybody responsible of trafficking youngsters and adults in Alameda County.”