A Watsonville man was sentenced Tuesday to 104 years in prison after being convicted of pimping, trafficking and abusing a Gilroy woman over a period of several years.
In September, 33-year-old Andre William Furtado was convicted on six felony counts by a jury in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Namely, human trafficking causing great bodily injury, kidnapping, pimping and pandering, domestic violence and failing to register as a sex offender, said prosecutor Patrick Vanier, who leads the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Human Exploitation Unit.
Authorities said Furtado trafficked and abused a young South County woman for several years, and even continued to intimidate and control her while he was incarcerated awaiting his trial.
Furthermore, prosecutors and investigators presented evidence that Furtado had exploited at least four other young women dating back to 2006, Vanier said.
“His prior conduct involving exploitation of other victims was a big factor in the case and in his sentencing,” Vanier said.
Furtado was arrested by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies in August 2019 in response to reports that he had threatened to harm the woman and her father, according to authorities. The sheriff’s office conducted a human trafficking investigation and gathered enough evidence to arrest Furtado.
The victim began a dating relationship with Furtado in 2014, investigators said. Shortly afterward, Furtado convinced the woman to turn to prostitution as a source of income, and showed her how to post advertisements soliciting prostitution online.
The victim began engaging in acts of prostitution under Furtado’s guidance and direction, authorities said. Within a month of working for Furtado, the suspect began to physically abuse her. Furtado would instruct the woman to engage in acts of prostitution under threats of violence and intimidation.
Furtado abused the woman again as the sheriff’s office was preparing to rescue her, according to authorities. The victim suffered scratches to her chest, neck, leg and foot, as well as bruising to her chest, foot and back due to Furtado’s physical abuse.
The woman initially cooperated with investigators, but Vanier said her “trauma bonds [with Furtado] were so severe” that she later declined to continue to help prosecute him. Vanier said Furtado continued to exploit and intimidate her after his 2019 arrest.
“Her loyalty to him remained steadfast throughout the case,” Vanier said.
Furtado had similarly victimized four other young women over the years, according to Vanier. Two of these victims were 17-year-old minors.
In those instances, Furtado contacted the young women on social media to initiate a dating relationship, Vanier said. He ultimately exploited their vulnerabilities and used violence and threats to coerce them into prostitution.
Furtado’s 104-year sentence is likely the longest sentence ever handed down for human trafficking in Santa Clara County, Vanier said.
“Because he was a prolific trafficker we wanted to make sure we pursued this with every resource we have,” Vanier said. “We’re very satisfied with the outcome and with the jury’s outcome in finding him guilty so he will never harm another person again.”
Human trafficking, though typically unseen to the casual observer, is a “big problem” in Santa Clara County, Vanier said. He estimates that hundreds of women are trafficked in and out of the county every day.
I am glad to see the Santa Clara County DA office is finally taking these crimes seriously. The jury wiliness was always there. It was your office that continuously decided not to prosecute these criminals. I hope the DA office will for once prosecute law enforcement and privileged males that consume chil pornography. It is because of their sexual habit and consuming of child pornography that children continue to be commercially and sexually exploited. I know of few law enforcement who are long term child pornography consumers. The SCC DA office gave them a pass! SHAME ON JEFF ROSEN!
expect early release
We need to reimagine these prosecutions. Id like to know if he did this to put food on the table or to buy his baby diapers and formula. We need equality in the justice system. I believe this man may be oppressed. Jeff what say you?
absolutely a victim of systemic racism
expecting safety is privilege speaking
There are some folks commenting here who have serious mental issues. Why is systemic racism even being mentioned here? A human being (regardless of skin color) with two legs and two arms (regardless of skin color) engaged in predatory activity (again no regard to skin color) and enslaved women to a life of sexual slavery (yet again with no regard to skin color) …. Do your homo sapien brains ever see past anything unless it can be intertwined with allegations of racism?!?!?
Mr Furtado, raised under the mental anvil of oppression, can not be blamed. White supremacy made him do it, as he was only mimicking his oppresors. He does not deserve prison, but reparations! I volunteer the residents of Palo Alto to pay for it.
Trying to say that he is not guilty because of white supremacy is ludicrous. Trying to condone his actions by saying perhaps he needed diapers and milk for his child is also ludicrous.
As someone who grew up in the black community of Queens NY I was very familiar with all types of hustlers, including pimps, bank robbers and stick up artists, and dope dealers. When I was growing up these people were the ones being held up as heroes, as role models more so the dealers and bank robbers yet we were going to the movies to see “Superfly” and “Sweet sweetbacks bad ass Song” ( I think that was the title. It was over 50 yrs ago). Many other movies glamorizing pimping but most of were the books about and by pimps and dealers.
About true life on the streets in black inner cities from coast to coast. They projected the image of black men being admired and made into local icons. They showed how much better they dressed and the cars they drove and jewelry they sported. So why was this like this?
One reason is that once the slaves were freed and could go north were there were great jobs and no masters to suppress them any longer was the false myth that former slaves bought into. The truth however was so much different, jobs were scarce especially for those who could not read nor write. But even those that could found it very hard to get paid a decent salary so they settled on jobs in the service industries, janitors, cooks, cleaning the homes of white people who often took advantage of them and their ignorance.
Still in the south blacks were being terrorized and lynched the same as before being freed. So those who were smart enough took to crime to elevate themselves into higher living and the good life. The problem wasxthat they could not do these crimes in white neighborhoods or around white people in general so they took advantage of the only people they could- their fellow black folks.
The thing that made them stand above all the others was also what would tear down their own communities so the richer ones moved out to live as best they could among whites and blacks who tolerated and possibly looked up to them for their money. But the thousands left in poverty did not understand that these few were not role models but rather pariahs getting wealthy off of their suffering and subjugation to the new bosses in the hood.
These were terrible times for young black men, being unfairly locked up for petty crimes or minor cases of possesion of drugs but serving much longer sentences because once again white men now had a form of legal slavery. As long as you served time you worked for nothing to enrich and empoqer the white men who controlled you. This is why pimping, dealing and robbing became the ones who held any status in the hood.
Of course there werexthose who didn’t break the law, who worked for the lowest wages and were good honest folk who tried to raise their families to do the same. Encouraging some to go to school but even that avenue was not the road to betterment that they were told it would be. It wasn’t free nor easy to work and go to school yet many did it and a few made themselves a better life. But the successes were few and it took years of sacrifice. That was the factor that cut down on those who tried. Others became part of gangs and worked at becoming better hustlers, gamblers, pool sharks, con men and grifters some would become the muscle that enforced the loan sharks money lending and collecting.
Bottom line is that life was fairly miserable in the black ghettos of America.
Still today even with the advances in civil rights and seeing people of color becoming more prominent in society we atill suffer from the very same racism and discrimination that poisined our towns and cities over 100 years ago except that it is more diverse. They do all they can to stop us from voting without fear of some form of retribution, they lie and mislead blacks about the truth of their racist beliefs so we can vote for them and afterwards be further shoved aside.
So still today we see the ugly results of just how invasive and lacking of empathy todays leaders can be. So yes we will always have those who go down the road of destroying the hearts and minds of fellow blacks to gain a dollar. Was this man Furtado guilty? Of course he is, does he deserve 104 yrs for it? Absolutely not, yes does deserve being locked up but not for the rest of his life when we have prominent members of white society being found guilty of molesting and raping young children being given 6 months for their crimes because they should not be harshly sentenced due to their high standing in the community.
This young man who pimped women can be turned around with the right influnces of his peers and the real role models in our communities. But nothing can change for him if he is left to die in prison.
The whole negative lifestyle of the hustlers is the direct result of how the white power structure has purposely set up blacks to fail and be the scapegoats for a very corrupt society that is ever looking for the next ignorant young man to be fed into the jaws of the wood chipper.
“The whole negative lifestyle of the hustlers is the direct result of how the white power structure has purposely set up blacks to fail and be the scapegoats for a very corrupt society that is ever looking for the next ignorant young man to be fed into the jaws of the wood chipper.”
So what you’re saying is the anvil of white supremacy made him do it?
Young men such as Mr Furtado will never end this cycle under such a victimology mind set.
Statistical analysis says
graduate high school
get a job
get married before you have kids and stay married
and middle class is highly probable
live in a place you can afford to buy and remember a mortgage with no equity is renting with debt, and you will be on the path toward 200k+ net worth
think white people can stop you or they have some magical power over you, fatherless homes will grow to 100%, black incarceration rates will keep growing, and net worths will stay flat or shrink
no matter who runs things
We live in a world where the color of your skin and who you know can grant you privilege to have second chances in life. Only the perverts that bother children with pornography are suppose to receive a hundred years. That guy could have gotten thirty years the most and got out with a long parole could have been sufficient. It seems like the whitemen in high places and work in the system seem to not get caught for wanting to watch and buy child pornography. What kind of weirdo want to look at kids except for the little dick man that they are that cannot not perform in the bedroom with adult female and satisfy her. They should just become gay individuals and get the arena where they belong.