A 37-year-old Richmond man faces a minimum prison sentence of 25 years to life on human trafficking charges in a case in which one of the victims is 15 years old, according to the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office.
In November last year, Richmond police became suspicious of Jerry Likaerie Graham, who at the time was on parole for a human trafficking conviction in Oakland. Ankle monitor data indicated Graham was engaged in suspicious activities in an area of the city known for commercial sexual activity, and also at budget motels in West Contra Costa County.
An investigation was launched that led to his arrest, as well as an opportunity to provide support and services to several of his victims, including the 15-year-old, according to the DA’s Office.
On Tuesday, Nov. 22, Graham was convicted of sex trafficking a minor, sex trafficking an adult, forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, pandering, and felon in possession of a firearm. The jury also concurred with an enhancement for a prior conviction for forced and oral copulation, according to the DA’s Office, which adds that Graham “has an extensive criminal history involving both adult and juvenile victims.”
Graham is expected to be sentenced in February.
“The diligent pursuit of justice in this case has removed a dangerous, repeat offender who preys upon young, vulnerable women from our community,” said District Attorney Diana Becton. “The outcome of the case is also empowering to the survivors by providing them with a foundation of justice upon which to continue their healing.”
During the investigation, Richmond police collaborated with partners of the Contra Costa Human Trafficking Task Force, which consists of law enforcement and victim service providers working together to stop human traffickers and support victim. The investigation included support from DA investigators and prosecutors, specialized human trafficking advocates with the DA’s Victim-Witness Assistance Program, Community Violence Solutions, and International Rescue Committee.
“This case serves as a model of how law enforcement and community partners can come together to hold human traffickers accountable, to support survivors in seeking justice and healing, and to build safer communities for all” noted Task Force Director, Katrina Natale.