South Los Angeles Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Recruiting Teenage Girls for Commercial Sex Work and Sex Trafficking an Adult
A South Los Angeles man was sentenced today to life in federal prison for recruiting and enticing teenage girls with a Ventura woman for whom he acted as a “pimp” and providing them for commercial sex work.
Donavin Dwayne Bradford, 32, was sentenced by United States District Judge John A. Kronstadt, who at Thursday’s hearing described Bradford’s actions as “inexcusable” and “horrific.” Judge Kronstadt also ordered Bradford to pay $67,000 in restitution and an additional $900 in special assessments.
At the conclusion of a five-day trial, a jury on April 17 found Bradford guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking with a minor, three counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for the purpose of producing a sexually explicit visual depiction, one count of possession of child pornography, and one count of sex trafficking through threats of force, fraud, or coercion.
From the summer of 2021 to February 2022, Bradford conspired with Layla Kalani Valdivia, 24, of Ventura, to cause one of the minor victims – a then-15-year-old girl – to be used for commercial sex acts. Bradford recruited the victim to work for him as a commercial sex worker. As the victim’s “pimp,” Bradford expected the girl to earn him $1,000 per night, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Bradford and Valdivia advertised the girl for commercial sex work on various websites, and customers who responded to the ads were directed to various hotels and motels where they engaged in commercial sex acts with the victim. Sometimes the minor victim would be required to perform sex acts with Valdivia and a sex client together. Customers paid Bradford for “dates” with the victim or she would be required to give Bradford or Valdivia her earnings, the DOJ states.
Bradford assaulted the minor victim when she tried to stop working for him on two separate occasions. Bradford also filmed himself engaging in sex acts on two separate occasions with her.
From March 2021 to November 2021, Bradford recruited and enticed two other girls – ages 16 and 17 – to engage in commercial sex activity. From May 2021 to August 2022, Bradford also recruited and sex trafficked an adult victim through threats of force, fraud or coercion, including multiple instances of violence, according to the DOJ.
Bradford and Valdivia have been in federal custody since August 2022.
“Bradford sex trafficked at least three minor girls and used threats of force and coercion to traffic a young adult – all for his own profit,” prosecutors argued in a sentencing memorandum. “To control his victims, he beat and berated them, pointed a gun in at least one victim’s face, intimidated them by referring to his gang membership, filmed himself having sex with them, took their money, and destroyed their property when they dared to leave him. With at least one victim, he took her earnings from sex customers as well as her financial aid from school.”
Valdivia pleaded guilty in December 2022 to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and one count of sex trafficking of a minor and is serving a federal prison sentence.
The FBI Los Angeles Field Office and the FBI Los Angeles Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force coordinated with multiple law enforcement partners and thanks them for their participation and assistance, including: the Los Angeles Police Department; the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department; the Inglewood Police Department; the Pomona Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office; the Santa Maria Police Department; the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Assistant United States Attorneys Chelsea Norell and Kathy Yu of the Violent and Organized Crime Section prosecuted this case.
“Operation Cross Country,” an FBI-led nationwide effort which ran in August 2022, focused on identifying and locating victims of sex trafficking and investigating and arresting individuals and criminal enterprises involved in both child sex trafficking and human trafficking.