People v. Clark

Decision Date27 December 2021
Docket NumberB305709
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
PartiesTHE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. PERRY TERRELL CLARK et al., Defendants and Appellants.

THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent,

PERRY TERRELL CLARK et al., Defendants and Appellants.


California Court of Appeals, Second District, Third Division

December 27, 2021


APPEALS from judgments of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. MA072529 Kathleen Blanchard, Judge. Affirmed.

James Koester, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant Perry Terrell Clark.

Rudolph J. Alejo, under appointment by the Court of Appeal, for Defendant and Appellant Javionna Starlena Richmond.

Xavier Becerra, Attorney General, Lance E. Winters, Chief Assistant Attorney General, Susan Sullivan Pithey, Assistant Attorney General, Michael R. Johnsen and Yun K. Lee, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.



A jury convicted Perry Terrell Clark and Javionna Starlena Richmond of human trafficking for commercial sex acts. Three of the victims were minors. As to two of the victims, the jury found true a sentencing factor that the crimes involved force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of unlawful injury. The jury also convicted Clark of robbing one of the victims. On appeal, Clark and Richmond assert instructional error and insufficient evidence. We affirm.


1. The four victims

a. Wendy S.

In 2014, when she was 14, Wendy ran away from her group home and started working as a commercial sex worker. In the spring of 2015, Wendy met Clark, whom she knew as "P.C." Clark told Wendy "he had a girl working for him" and Wendy could make up to $1, 500 a day.

Richmond, whom Wendy knew as "J.J.," contacted her on Facebook or by text. Richmond was Clark's "baby mother." Richmond asked, "[O]h, can I pull up on you and we'll smoke?" Wendy agreed. The next day, Wendy and her friend called Clark to pick them up. Clark picked her up, they "got drunk and . . . smoked," and then Clark took her to Los Angeles "to go on the blade."[1]

Wendy worked about 10 hours that night. Clark "felt like he needed more money." He told Wendy, "[Y]ou're not leaving. You have to stay and have to make more money." This pattern continued. Sometimes Wendy took "pills just trying to stay up." Wendy gave the money she made to Clark "immediately"; she kept none of it.


Clark began to rent rooms at the E-Z8 motels in Lancaster and Palmdale. Then Richmond "post[ed]" Wendy on Backpage, a website where you could "post a picture of yourself" "if you want to sell your body."[2] Clark made Wendy "do in-calls." He also took her to "out-calls," where you "go[ ] to their place." Wendy was getting 20 "dates" a day. Clark and Richmond were setting her schedule and arranging her dates, and Clark set the prices.

Richmond "was involved the whole time." She created Wendy's ads for Backpage and took calls from the tricks.[3] The Backpage ads had Richmond's phone number. Richmond was "on the phone getting us dates." She also collected the money. Wendy never told Richmond no because-for example-if she didn't give Richmond the money, Clark "was gonna do whatever it takes to take it from me."

One time, Wendy told Clark she didn't want to have any more dates. He laughed and told her to get out of the car. When she didn't, he "lock[ed] the doors," pulled her hair, and "hit[ ] [her] against the window in the car." "And he told me that I was gonna work for him." This type of thing was common; it happened "[w]henever he would be mad."

If Wendy kept any of the money she got from dates, Clark beat her. Once Wendy got an extra $40 as a tip. She hid it in her dirty clothes. When Clark found it he "lift[ed her] up" from the bed and "threw" her. "[T]hen he started kicking [her] and stomping [her] when [she] was on the floor." Clark called Wendy


"a stupid bitch." Richmond was there when Clark assaulted Wendy. She didn't say anything, do anything, or try to stop him.

Another time Wendy had $20 in her makeup pouch. Clark found it, took it, and beat her up.

Wendy worked out of motel rooms about 80% of the time. She was not allowed to leave the room without permission. If she tried to leave, she "got beat."

Wendy worked for Clark and Richmond for 18 to 24 months. Eventually, Wendy felt Clark was "really, really making" her "catch a lot of dates," so she called her uncle and cousin to pick her up.

A couple of months later Richmond messaged Wendy on Facebook. Richmond picked her up and drove to a McDonald's. Clark walked up and got into the car. Richmond drove them to her (Richmond's) house. Clark told Wendy," 'You're gonna work for me.'" Wendy said she was not going to work for him. Clark "snatched" her phone and broke it, then took her purse with her wallet in it. He "sock[ed]" her with a closed fist in the face, forehead, eye area, nose, and jaw 40 to 50 times. He also kicked her 10 to 15 times. Wendy was "dripping blood everywhere." Even a year later, Richmond was still contacting Wendy about working for her and Clark.

b. Lauren R.

Detectives interviewed Lauren R. in the autumn of 2017. Lauren identified Clark and Richmond in photo six-packs. However, at trial, Lauren at first claimed not to remember anything beyond the fact that she had participated in commercial sex at the E-Z8 in Lancaster. She testified "P.C." and "J.J." had been at the E-Z8 with her, but initially she claimed not to recognize Clark or Richmond in the courtroom. After the prosecutor showed Lauren a transcript of her preliminary


hearing testimony, she admitted Clark had picked her up at 77th and Figueroa in Los Angeles.

Clark had been following Lauren in his car and she "confronted the car." Lauren got into the car, and she and Clark had a conversation about "[m]aking money"; to her that meant "[p]rostitute." "He said to make money with him" and he was going to take care of her. She was 16 at the time.

Lauren felt "very dazed, confused; out of it." "It felt like something had been in [her] arm"; she believed Clark put a needle in her arm. Clark admitted he'd put something in Lauren's arm but he never said what it was. Lauren "[woke] up" on the freeway, and Clark said they were going to Lancaster. Clark said Lauren "would try it out" and, once she'd made $10, 000 for him, she could leave Lancaster if she wished.

Richmond got Lauren a room at the E-Z8 in Lancaster and took her to get some clothes and get her nails done. Lauren figured she was going to have to "prostitute" in exchange. Richmond took Lauren's picture and posted ads; Lauren started "catching dates." Lauren did both in-calls and out-calls. Richmond drove her to the out-calls.

Clark and Richmond determined how much Lauren would charge. She gave them all the money. Sometimes Clark punched Lauren in the stomach with a balled-up fist. She couldn't remember why he hit her, but "it was usually, in [her] opinion, over money." Clark asked Lauren for "a blow job a couple [of] times" and she felt she couldn't say no. She couldn't say no to Richmond either "[b]ecause they're a team, and I'm working for both of them." Lauren feared not doing what Richmond asked because "[s]he was like the shot caller." "She arranged the dates," took Lauren to out-calls, got her clothes. "[I]t seemed like she was . . . the one in control."


Lauren stayed with Clark and Richmond between a week and a month. She did not feel she could come and go as she pleased. When Lauren ran out of methamphetamine, Clark would get some for her. Lauren was "catching dates non-stop"; she was "doing a lot more" drugs than she had before coming to Lancaster because the drug was her "happy place." It also helped her stay awake so she could catch more dates. Eventually a customer helped Lauren get away.

c. Faythe S.

Faythe S. met Clark at a gas station in about 2015. She was 18. They exchanged information. About a week later they met up, hung out, and smoked. Clark explained he was a pimp, "he had hoes"; he told Faythe she could work for him. Faythe started working for Clark on Sepulveda, where there were "[h]oes, pimps, tricks."

Richmond went to Sepulveda with Faythe four or five times. On Sepulveda, Faythe would have seven or "maybe more" dates in one night. Richmond also got Faythe rooms on Sepulveda and at the E-Z8 in Palmdale. Faythe's Backpage ads had a contact email of and a telephone number of 323-900-9279. Those were not Faythe's email or phone number.

In a 24-hour period, Faythe would have four dates for cash and ten or more using bitcoin. Clark gave her "crystal meth" so she could stay up. Richmond provided Faythe with condoms and got her clothes. Clark and Richmond set Faythe's prices and she gave them the money. "I ha[d] to give it to them." She never kept any for herself.

Sometimes, when Faythe "finished all the condoms" she'd been given, she could stop getting dates for that night. But other times Clark told her she had to keep working. She didn't feel she could say no; Clark "was very angry" and would "curse [her] out"


and call her "bitch" and "ho" when she was "being lazy." "And [he] told me I needed to work-go back to work." Once, Faythe was raped on Sepulveda. She told Clark and Richmond. Clark told her to go back to work. Faythe was scared Clark was going to get violent.

Faythe saw how Clark treated Wendy: "He treated her bad." He yelled at her. When asked, "[W]as it violent?" she responded, "Yes."

When asked if she "could really stop working for" Clark and Richmond, Faythe answered, "Yeah." When asked if she was allowed to come and go as she pleased, she again said, "Yeah." Faythe testified she didn't have a car but she could use Richmond's and Clark's car.

Faythe worked for Clark and Richmond for five or six months. In 2015 or 2016 she went to jail. Sometime later, Richmond texted her to see if she was "interested again." Faythe told Richmond she was not.

On cross-examination Faythe...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT