Los Angeles man convicted of trying to recruit undercover cop posing as teen into prostitution via social media

SANTA ANA >> A Los Angeles man admitted to two felony charges in Orange County on Thursday after attempting to recruit an undercover investigator who he believed to be a teenage girl into prostitution via social media, authorities said.
Michael Joseph Mata, 34, pleaded guilty in Orange County Superior Court to one county of attempted pimping of a minor and one count of pandering by procuring, Orange County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“Mata is a pimp who exploits women for financial gain,” according to the statement. “With the rise in popularity of social media and ease of meeting people on the Internet, many pimps and human traffickers utilize a variety of social media to locate potential victims,” according to the statement.
Between October and December of 2015, Mata was in contact with an undercover investigator, who he believed to be a 17-year-old girl, online via social media, prosecutors said.
“The defendant tried to recruit the officer to perform commercial sex acts for his benefit,” the statement said. “The defendant arranged to meet with the officer and was subsequently arrested by the Orange Human Trafficking Task Force at the arranged meeting spot.”
Mata was immediately sentenced to three years in state prison.
The case prosecuted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office’s Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit.

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