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Witness: School Board Member Recruited Me into Sex Business


Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Issue 05, Volume 17.


RIVERSIDE - Moreno Valley school board member Mike Rios established a sex-for-money business, acting as a pimp, so he could raise money for "something bigger," a woman who said she worked for him testified today.

"He basically wanted to gather together some girls and sell them," a 20-year-old woman who went by Valery said. "His biggest interest was the money."

She said she met Rios more than a year ago when he stopped his white Mercedes-Benz on a Moreno Valley street to talk to her. Valery said Rios persuaded her to help him recruit women and girls to work as prostitutes, frequenting clubs and bars to find prospects.

Rios flashed his business card to impress her and others, she testified, adding that he told her he needed to increase his cash flow to build up a campaign war chest -- and the call girl service was the fastest means of accomplishing that.

"He said he needed to raise money because he wanted to be something bigger in the district," Valery said. "He told me what I could do for men ... He always had me answer the phone if a client called, because he said if a man heard another man on the other end of the line they might get scared."

According to Valery, she worked briefly as a prostitute, receiving half of whatever she was paid and giving the rest to Rios, who allegedly took young women to meeting spots and paid for motel rooms.

Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Mike Brusselback displayed Internet advertisements showing Valery and a half-dozen other women scantily clad in provocative poses, with captions reading: "Sexy Hot Latinas Waiting for You. Call Now" and "We're Here for Your Pleasure and Enjoyment. Stop Wasting Time. Let's Get Together."

According to Valery, Rios allegedly used pay-as-you-go mobile phones with temporary phone numbers to handle transactions.

Rios, 42, could face more than 15 years in prison if convicted of 35 felony counts -- including forcible rape, pimping, pandering and insurance fraud -- stemming from alleged criminal activity in 2011 and 2012. He is free on $500,000 bail.

The sex-for-money allegations were filed last April when a Riverside County sheriff's investigation revealed Rios allegedly had been running prostitutes out of his two-story house in the 27500 block of Palm Shadows Drive.

An 18-year-old Los Angeles County woman, identified only as Bianca, testified at preliminary hearing in August that she was an "out call" prostitute for two months in 2011, providing services to at least 40 men with whom Rios allegedly arranged "dates."

The witness said the defendant persuaded her to do "bad things with men," telling her she couldn't make money otherwise. The going rate was $200 to $300 an hour, of which she received $65 to $100.

Bianca said she quit after Rios sexually assaulted her in his bedroom.

One of the teenage witnesses alleged that Rios gave her free use of his Volkswagen Jetta in an attempt to persuade her to prostitute Advertisement
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herself. Rios allegedly bragged to one victim about being a local government official and implied he could use his influence to help her.

Rios is separately charged with attempting to shoot two men over a Feb. 16 dispute last year at a Moreno Valley bar.

Rios was elected to the Moreno Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees in November 2010. According to the school board bylaws, Rios will automatically lose his position if he is unable to perform his duties for three months in a row or is convicted of a felony.


MV School Board Official on Trial on Pimping, Rape Charges

RIVERSIDE - Opening statements are slated to get under way today in the trial of a Moreno Valley school board member accused of running an escort service and sexually assaulting two of his call girls.

Mike Luis Rios, 42, could face more than 15 years in prison if convicted of 35 felony counts -- including forcible rape, pimping, pandering and insurance fraud -- stemming from alleged criminal activity in 2011 and 2012. He is free on $500,000 bail.

The sex-for-money allegations were filed last April when a Riverside County sheriff's investigation revealed Rios allegedly had been running prostitutes out of his two-story house in the 27500 block of Palm Shadows Drive.

During a preliminary hearing in August, six women and girls testified that they either worked for Rios as prostitutes or were asked to work for him.

An 18-year-old Los Angeles County woman identified only as Bianca testified that she was an outcall prostitute for two months in 2011, providing services to at least 40 men with whom Rios allegedly arranged "dates."

The witness, who said she was afraid of Rios, said the defendant persuaded her to do "bad things with men," telling her she couldn't make money otherwise.

Rios would drive her to meetings with clients at motels and wait outside while she catered to them, Bianca testified. The going rate was $200-$300 an hour, of which she received $65-$100.

Bianca said she quit after Rios sexually assaulted her in his bedroom.

One of the teenage witnesses alleged that Rios gave her free use of his Volkswagen Jetta in an attempt to persuade her to prostitute herself. The defendant also allegedly bragged to one victim about being a local government official and implied he could use his influence to help her.

Rios is separately charged with attempting to shoot two men over a dispute that started at a bar last Feb. 16.

According to the alleged victims, when they showed up outside the defendant's house to confront him about mistreating them, he pulled out a 9mm Glock pistol and fired four rounds at their vehicle, narrowly missing one of the men.

Rios was elected to the Moreno Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees in November 2010. According to the school board bylaws, Rios will automatically lose his position if he is unable to perform his duties for three consecutive months or is convicted of a felony.


 

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