“She left with the clothes on her back and a Barbie doll in her hands, and returned with gonorrhea,” Van Nuys Superior Court Judge Darlene Schempp said Monday as she sentenced a man who brought a 12-year-old Canadian girl to Los Angeles to be a prostitute.
Schempp sentenced William George Long, 43, of Edmonton, Alberta, to the maximum term of 12 years in prison for pimping, committing a lewd act with a child under 14, and procuring a child under 14.
The gaunt, bearded Canadian, who was convicted of the three counts by a jury on June 25, showed no emotion as sentence was passed.
The judge said Long used his authority as an adult and father figure to lure the victim into a world of crime. “I wish I could impose more time,” she said.
The girl, now 14, was returned to her home town of Edmonton a week after Long’s arrest and placed in a foster home. A medical examination discovered she had gonorrhea, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Simon R. Hiller.
Long lived with the victim’s mother in Edmonton, where he once worked as a Santa Claus for a department store. In August, 1983, he and the girl ran away to New York, where they lived for two weeks, according to a probation report.
Long and the girl then drove to Los Angeles, where he convinced her to work for a Sun Valley escort service, Wild Coeds Out-Call, according to Los Angeles Police Department vice officers.
Asked About Parents
When undercover officers arrested the girl as a prostitute in September, 1983, and asked if her parents knew what she was doing, she told them that Long, whom she called her stepfather, “came with her when she worked because she felt safer when he was around,” an arrest report says.
The girl told officers she frequently had sex with Long.
When Long was arrested shortly afterward, he admitted to police that he talked the girl into becoming a prostitute because they needed money.
Addressing the court before sentence was passed, Hiller said that he had not seen “a more cowardly and callous defendant in a long time.” He said Long did “everything he could to make life miserable” for the victim.
But defense attorney Stephen R. Grohs maintained the girl was a willing participant in prostitution. “She wasn’t happy to do it, but she didn’t object to it,” Grohs said. “She says she was in love with him.”
A co-defendant, Billy Joe Wright, owner of the escort service, was convicted on four felony counts on July 9, 1984, and sentenced to 10 years in prison. He is free on $150,000 bail, pending appeal.