Man Charged with Pimping Teen in Anaheim

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 28-year-old man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to pimping a 17-year-old girl in Anaheim.

Antonio Romello Mann was charged in September 2020 with human trafficking of an underage victim, pimping a minor older than 16, pandering with a minor older than 17 as well as two counts each of pimping and pandering, all felonies.

An Anaheim investigator said in court papers that an Instagram account in which he, the investigator, poses as a woman drew a message in July 2020 from a 17-year-old offering to work as a prostitute. In another message at the end of August, the victim said she was working as a prostitute in Los Angeles, prompting the investigator to offer to pay her for a "threesome" as a means to make contact with the victim and help her, according to court records.

Mann drove the teen to a parking lot in Anaheim, but the two left when they saw unmarked police cars, the investigator said. On Sept. 1, 2020, the victim messaged the investigator saying she was admitted to Children's Hospital Orange County. When investigators went to visit her she said Mann, who also went by Tone Montana, was her pimp and that he had two others working for him as prostitutes, including an 18-year-old woman who was 17 when she started as a sex worker, according to court records. The other woman was 25 years old.

Mann posted bail in September 2020 and failed to appear in court in January of last year, according to court records. He had to be transferred from San Quentin prison to face charges in Orange County, according to court records.

Mann was ordered to return to court for a pretrial hearing Feb. 21 in the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

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