A Lompoc man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of multiple sex crimes following a two-week investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, a spokeswoman said.
Benito Rodriguez Bravo, 34, was taken into custody on suspicion of committing six felony crimes in addition to a warrant for his arrest for probation violation and domestic violence and was being held without bail, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Raquel Zick.
Bravo was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of arranging a meeting with a minor, human trafficking of a minor, contacting a minor with intent for sex, sending harmful material to a minor with attempt to seduce, attempting to commit crime and pandering.
Zick said Bravo reportedly created an advertisement on the internet where he attempted to recruit and hire females for the purposes of engaging in nude housecleaning and erotic massages.
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During the investigation, detectives contacted Bravo posing as a 16-year-old female.
Despite the girl’s professed age, Bravo sent her explicit images with the intent to cause sexual arousal and attempted to recruit her to have sex with high-paying customers, promising her $5,000 a week, Zick said.
Bravo arranged a meeting with the 16-year-old in the city of Goleta, but detectives conducting surveillance arrested him when he arrived at the meeting location.
Detectives believe Bravo was acting alone and was not only recruiting females to perform erotic massages and nude housecleaning but also posed as the potential client who was to receive sex services from the females he was communicating with.
It also appears Bravo had no intention of paying for any of the services he was planning to receive, Zick said.
The Sheriff’s Office is looking for additional victims related to the case, and investigators are asking anyone with information or who knows someone with information to contact detectives at email@example.com.
This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, associate editor for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.