An Anaheim couple pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Municipal Court to charges of forcing their 13-year-old daughter into prostitution.
Katrina McLaughlin, 37, and Timothy McLaughlin, 27, the girl’s stepfather, were charged with three counts of making a child under the age of 16 available for prostitution and three counts of child molestation for allegedly forcing their daughter to sell sex along Beach Boulevard.
They were also charged with one count of pimping and one count of pandering in connection with the alleged prostitution of an adult woman. Katrina McLaughlin was further charged with one count of soliciting for prostitution for allegedly offering herself to an undercover police officer.
Municipal Judge David T. McEachen in Fullerton ordered the couple held in County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail each, pending a preliminary hearing Sept. 16. They face a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison if convicted.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Matthew Anderson said the couple are being charged with child molestation because they “aided and abetted” the men who paid to have sex with their daughter.
Timothy McLaughlin briefly interrupted the hearing Wednesday when he shouted “I’m disabled” as the judge set the date for the preliminary hearing.
Timothy McLaughlin’s attorney, William Morrissey, said after the hearing that his client claims to be mentally and emotionally disabled and that that may play a part in the defense.
Jim Appel, Katrina McLaughlin’s attorney, had no comment.
The couple were arrested Aug. 12 during a five-day Anaheim police crackdown on prostitution near Beach Boulevard and Lincoln Avenue. Officers arrested 62 suspected prostitutes and their customers during the sting operation. Another 25 people were arrested for various drug violations, while two were taken into custody for allegedly violating parole.
Police said Katrina McLaughlin was arrested after she solicited sex from an officer who was posing as a customer. After further investigation, police said that she and her husband were also forcing their daughter to sell sex.
The girl remains in protective custody, officials said.