Thursday May 14 2009
Accused child sex trafficker admits crime
By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
Rocklin hotel location of four forced prostitution ‘dates’
An El Dorado Hills man now awaits sentencing after he entered a guilty plea to charges of sex trafficking of children. It was a Craigslist ad that led to the July 2008 arrest of 24-year-old Rishi Sanwal by FBI agents and Sacramento Police detectives. Sanwal reportedly prostituted at least one 17-year-old girl. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle Reardon, who is prosecuting the case, from March 18, 2008 until March 25, 2008, Sanwal used “force, fraud, and coercion,” to cause the teen to engage in prostitution. According to an affidavit filed with the U.S. Eastern District Federal Court July 1, 2008, the ad listed under the “erotic” section on Craigslist provided clues to the victim’s whereabouts. A telephone number and photo of the victim dressed only in underwear offered sex for “200H” or “150HH,” which means, according to the affidavit, $200 an hour or $150 for a half hour. On March 20, 2008, according to the affidavit, the victim ended up in a Rocklin hotel where a Craigslist ad “yielded her four dates” at the Heritage Inn on Rocklin Road. Subpoenaed results from Craigslist indicate the possibility of a second victim, in the Sacramento region or Bay Area, according to the affidavit. Following the arrest, FBI agents and police searched Sanwal’s parents’ home, in the “upscale” Summit subdivision on Hopkins Place in El Dorado Hills and several items were taken into evidence including a 2005 maroon Hummer, several cell phones, computers and CDs. This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI with assistance from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department. Sanwal is scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Aug. 21 in federal court. The maximum statutory penalty is no less than 10 years in prison and up to life, a $250,000 fine, and a life term of supervised release. As a result of his plea, Sanwal will also be required to register as a sex offender. Penne Usher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.