HEMET (CBSLA.com) — A 44-year-old Hemet man is accused of impersonating a woman on Facebook in an effort to recruit young women to become prostitutes, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.
Eliberto Cruz Jacobo is accused of attempting to recruit at least 120 women in Riverside and other parts of Southern California using Facebook.
Jacobo is accused of operating a fake Facebook page for an escort, “Marlissa Garcia.” That profile’s photo was of a woman in a pink-striped dress giving a flirty look.
Jacobo would send young women, who were often Hispanic, photos of cash and other images intended to glamorize prostitution, police said.
Jacobo operated the page for two years. But police were able to arrest him after two minors in the Coachella Valley came forward.
Jacobo is now accused of engaging in illegal sex acts with 17 victims — at least four of whom were underage at the time. He’s charged with 61 felony counts in total, including charges of human trafficking.
He will go to trial in late December and faces life in prison if convicted of the crimes.
Authorities believe there could be more victims who have not yet been identified.
Anyone with information was being asked to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.