Child sex bust in Chico

Man allegedly forced 17-year-old girl into prostitution

A Chico man was charged by federal grand jury with sex trafficking of a child by force and coercion last week (Dec. 14), according to a press release from the Office of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

Christopher Lawrence, 23, was accused of forcing a 17-year-old girl to engage in commercial sex acts with men throughout California, including in North State cities like Chico, Corning, Gridley, Oroville, Redding and Yuba City, as well as L.A., Bakersfield and the Bay Area. Lawrence allegedly supplied the girl with drugs and physically assaulted her.

The victim was found by law enforcement in a Chico hotel on Oct. 12 during a multi-agency operation targeting sex traffickers.

If found guilty, Lawrence faces a $250,000 fine and 15-year minimum sentence, with a maximum term of life in prison.