Murder Suspect Pleads No Contest
Murder Suspect Pleads No Contest
A man already serving a life sentence in a California prison pleaded no contest to a 1985 Oxnard murder. Vincent Mackey, 54, was preparing for a trial involving the murder of Isabel Hernandez in 1985. Instead of proceeding to trial, he offered a no-contest plea in the case. According to prosecutors, DNA evidence collected at the time of the attack implicated Mackey.

Mackey broke into the apartment where Hernandez lived, raped her and stabbed her to death. The police could not identify a suspect, but they collected and preserved evidence from the scene. The Oxnard Police Department reactivated the investigation into Hernandez’ death in 2013, and tested the crime scene evidence.

In 2014, a computerized check of known felons produced a match between Mackey and the Oxnard crime scene. In 1987, a jury convicted Mackey of the murder of James Sprigg, Mackey’s employer. Mackey killed Sprigg less than a year after he murdered Hernandez. He received a life sentence with no possibility of parole in that case.

Because the prosecutor opted not to seek the death penalty, Mackey will receive another life sentence in the case. Mackey’s sentencing is set for April 20.

Oxnard murder lawyer


In California, murder will put you at risk of receiving the death penalty. Because your life is on the line, you need an aggressive murder lawyer to defend you. Robert Helfend is an experienced criminal defense attorney who takes cases in Ventura County. He has more than 30 years of experience exclusively in courtroom defense.

Mr. Helfend manages each case personally, so his clients always receive the benefit of his extensive experience. Don’t rely on an inexperienced or timid criminal defense attorney, especially when your life is at risk.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County murder case.

Photo Credit: Stefan Mina, via Flickr.com

San Gabriel Woman Sentenced On Sex Crimes Charges
San Gabriel Woman Sentenced On Sex Crimes Charges
A Ventura judge sent a San Gabriel woman to prison for 11 years and fined her nearly $1M for human trafficking. In addition to a sex crimes charge, the woman also pleaded guilty to multiple other felony counts. They included pimping, money laundering, and a single count of filing a false tax return.

Defeng Hu, 33, acted as a dispatcher for a Ventura County human trafficking operation. Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a Backpage.com advertisement that featured photographs of a Chinese woman. The ad indicated that she offered “escort services” at a Camarillo hotel. In reality, the operation used 28 Chinese nationals who were seeking US residency.

Hu would respond to inquiries generated by the ad, and dispatch women to the hotel to meet customers. As part of the investigation, police obtained a search warrant for Hu’s residence. During the search, Hu attempted to flee with $24,000 in cash, a number of cell phones and business records. She jumped from a third-floor window and broke her ankle.

Police believe the ring generated as much as $50,000 in cash each month. It operated in Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Tulare counties. Four other defendants have pleaded guilty in connection with the operation. The other defendants face sentences of up to 13 years in prison and fines for participating in the scheme.

Ventura sex crimes lawyer


Sex crimes like human trafficking get a lot of attention from authorities. If you’re facing sex crimes charges of any kind, you need the assistance of an experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.

With more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Helfend knows what it takes to defend his clients successfully in court. Many criminal defense lawyers don’t like to take sex crimes cases. The subject matter of the trial is sensitive. Judges and juries are often sympathetic to the victim. That can make challenging the evidence against the defendant difficult.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on the charges against them. Instead, he works hard to prepare an effective defense. He also works hard to get charges against his clients reduced or dropped.

Don’t work with an inexperienced defense attorney, or one who doesn’t really want to take your case. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

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Bystander nabs Oxnard sex crimes suspect
Bystander nabs Oxnard sex crimes suspect
An Oxnard resident heard a woman crying for help last week and saw a suspect fleeing the area. He then followed the man until Oxnard police arrived. They detained the suspect on suspicion of sex crimes including sexual battery on a woman.

According to police, the victim said a man attacked her as she was walking down the street around 1:40 PM. He restrained her and assaulted her. She broke away from the suspect and ran away. Following the arest, the victim positively identified the suspect, whom police later identified as Luis Borunda, 25.

They arrested Borunda and charged him with felony sexual battery. Ventura County Jail records show that he left the jail on February 26, and is due back in court on March 13.

Oxnard sex crimes lawyer


If you’re facing sex crimes charges in Oxnard, including sexual battery or sexual assault, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes sex crimes defense cases in Oxnard and throughout Southern California. His 35 years of experience can help you defend yourself against these serious charges..

A sex crimes conviction often leads to enlistment on the state’s sex offender registry. Sex offender status can prevent you from finding appropriate housing or employment. Employers often fire workers who have been accused of sexual offenses, even before they’re convicted of a crime. Sex offender registration often follows you for life. Even if you leave the State of California, you must register as a sex offender in your new city of residence.

Having an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you minimize the impact of convictions related to sexual offenses. Don’t simply plead guilty because you think the evidence against you is overwhelming, and don’t attempt to defend yourself against sex crimes charges.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Nina A.J., via Flickr.com

Thousand Oaks police arrest man for sex crimes
Thousand Oaks police arrest man for sex crimes
Thousand Oaks police arrested an Oak Park parolee last month for sex crimes, including possession of child pornography, annoying or molesting a minor, and sending sexually abusive materials to a minor.

According to police, Matthew Myers posed as a 17-year-old boy, and contacted a 15-year-old girl via the social media site Facebook. After conversing with the girl, he asked her for sexually explicit photos. He is also accused of contacting a 16-year-old boy and sending him sexually explicit photographs.

Myers is on parole for previous sexual assaults, and is monitored electronically. In September 2015, Thousand Oaks police, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, developed information that Myers was engaging in behavior prohibited by the terms of his parole. They seized evidence from Myers’ computer that revealed his contact with at least a dozen minors.

Myers was arrested in Pasadena, and was held on a $1 million bail. Since he has committed a parole violation, he is not currently eligible for release on bail.

Oak Park sex crimes lawyer


Convictions for sex crimes have consequences that will last long after you’ve been released from supervision. Registered sex offenders may find it difficult – if not impossible to find work and housing. A growing number of restrictions work against you, effectively eliminating your opportunity to re-enter society successfully.

Lifetime enrollment on the state’s sex offender registry – which is required following most convictions – works to exclude convicted sex offenders from most meaningful activities. Moving doesn’t help. Your California sex offender status will follow you wherever you go.

If you’re facing sex crimes charges, you need the immediate assistance of an aggressive, experienced sex crimes lawyer like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend takes the tough sex crimes cases that most criminal defense attorneys shy away from, and he will fight aggressively for your future in court.

Don’t rely on an inexperienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

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Sex crimes arrest for couple in Camarillo
Sex crimes arrest for couple in Camarillo
Two adults were arrested at a Camarillo motel after police acted on an anonymous tip regarding a 15-year-old girl. Police obtained a search warrant and raided the motel room, which had been rented by the couple. According to police, the couple was charged with sex crimes related to human trafficking, child pornography, forcing a minor to commit a commercial sex act and pimping.

Simi Valley resident Jessica Stanley, and Thousand Oaks resident Robert McGraa were charged after undercover police contacted Stanley through anonymous ads she had placed on an online escort site. While making arrangements to meet, police say that Stanley made an explicit offer of sexual services to be performed by the 15-year-old victim. Stanley told the undercover officer that he could meet the girl at the motel after she finished her school day. Stanley would not provide the room number, but said she would provide the information after the undercover officer arrived at the motel for the arranged meeting.

After the undercover officer made contact with Stanley at the motel and ascertained the girl’s room number, a team of officers served the search warrant and arrested Stanley and McGraa. The girl was not arrested, and was provided with victims’ services through the District Attorney’s Office and through Child Protective Services of Ventura County.

Stanley and McGraa face as many as 20 years in prison if convicted on human trafficking charges.

Ventura sex crimes attorney


Sex crimes convictions have long-lasting consequences. Most often, those convicted of sex crimes must register for life as sex offenders. That designation follows you wherever you go, even if you move out of state. Often, registered sex offenders cannot find gainful employment or suitable housing following their release from custody or supervision.

Having an experienced sex crimes attorney fighting for you in court is one of the smartest moves you can make if you’ve been arrested on suspicion of committing sexual offenses. Don’t risk your freedom and your future on an inexperienced sex crimes attorney.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: badjonni, via Flickr.com

Camarillo sex crimes against children
Camarillo sex crimes against children
A Los Angeles man was sentenced to 75 years in prison for sex crimes committed against children. Luis Manuel Gonzalez, 62, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 7-year-old Camarillo girl while visiting the girl’s family in November 2013.

While investigating the incident, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office discovered additional victims. After Gonzalez was arrested for the first three assaults, VCSO investigators found two additional victims. All five victims were minors at the time of the incidents, but at least two victims no longer reside in the area.

In June, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to three counts of child molestation. In August, he was sentenced to three consecutive prison terms of 25 years to life.

Camarillo sex crimes attorney


Sex crimes against children are prosecuted vigorously, and sentences can be exceptionally harsh. If you’re arrested in Camarillo for sex crimes, whether or not they involve children, Robert Helfend is ready to take your case.

Mr. Helfend has more than 30 years of courtroom experience, exclusively in criminal defense. He does not judge his clients based on what they’ve been accused of, but he does fight aggressively for your rights and your freedom.

Under new sentencing requirements, the law may require prison sentences for certain sex crimes convictions. You may also be subject to sex offender registration requirements, which sometimes last a lifetime. When it’s not possible to get charges against his clients reduced or dropped, Mr. Helfend works toward the best possible outcome in each case. That may include alternative sentencing, plea agreements or other strategies that will lessen the impact of a conviction.

Don’t attempt to defend yourself and don’t go into a courtroom as a defendant alone. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Christian Ostrosky, via Flickr.com

Child porn, sex crimes arrest in Moorpark
Child porn, sex crimes arrest in Moorpark
A Moorpark man was arrested for sex crimes including possession of child pornography, burglary and using a concealed camera to record another person. Sergio Salgado, 53, is accused of planting a secret video camera in a neighbor’s bathroom during a social gathering.

According to police, the camera captured guests in various stages of undress. Salgado, a neighbor of the victims, was invited to a child’s birthday party at the victims’ home. While there, he set up the recording device. Police say that the camera captured 14 people, including young children, teens and adults, and was rolling when Salgado planted the camera.

The homeowner’s daughter found the camera at the end of the party, and told her mother, who notified the police. The homeowner said that she and her family have known Salgado for more than 20 years.

Sex Crimes lawyer


If you’ve been arrested on sex crimes charges, including suspicion of possessing or manufacturing child pornography, you need an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal law in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years.

Conviction on sex crimes charges can result in long-term consequences that will impact you literally for the rest of your life. You may be required to register as a sex offender, which will follow you wherever you go. You may find it difficult, if not impossible, to find suitable housing and employment following the end of your sentence.

The loss of social relationships, family relationships, friendships and professional relationships can have a devastating effect on you. Don’t trust your freedom and your quality of life to an inexperienced criminal defense attorney.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Ryan Dickey, via Flickr.com

Sex crimes charges for VC human traffickers
Sex crimes charges for VC human traffickers
Authorities in Ventura County arrested three men and two women, from Covina, San Gabriel, Alhambra and Rosemead, and charged them with sex crimes following their investigation of a human trafficking ring that operated in nine California counties.

A combined task force of federal, state and local police agencies conducted a six-month investigation, including prostitution stings in Oxnard and other locations in Ventura County. Officers from the Oxnard Police Department and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office responded to ads for sex on Backpage.com.

Following the arrests, investigators uncovered evidence of a much larger operation. The criminal enterprise operated much like a corporation, according to police. Those arrested organized meetings between women and clients responding to the advertisements, coordinated transportation and logistics, negotiated pricing and laundered the proceeds of the operation through as many as nine different banks.

The investigation also identified more than two-dozen women who spoke little or no English, and who had entered the country on legitimate visas. The women were kept at various motels, rarely leaving their rooms, and were forced to work throughout the day. The women were charged for the delivery of clients to their rooms, for the rooms themselves, the advertisements and for basic necessities like food.

Upon the arrest of the five suspects, police seized about $350,000 in cash, nearly $750,000 in bank accounts belonging to the group, three residential properties and a luxury vehicle. At the time of the arrests, authorities located eight women who were actively being trafficked by the operation.

Ventura sex crimes attorney


If you’ve been arrested for sex crimes in Ventura County, you need the assistance of an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Southern California for more than 30 years, and will take your case.

Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County sex crimes case.

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Oxnard coach sentenced for sex crimes
Oxnard coach sentenced for sex crimes
A former Oxnard volleyball, basketball and soccer coach was sentenced for sex crimes involving children. William Esau Matau pleaded guilty in June to one count of committing lewd acts upon a child, possession of child pornography and child molestation.

Matau was sentenced to 300 days in the Ventura County Jail and five years of probation. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victims for at least 10 years. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the two victims, as well as fines and court costs. He must also register as a sex offender.

The case involved two victims under the age of 14, and allegedly occurred in December 2015. Matau worked as a volleyball coach for the Oxnard Recreational and Community Services Department at the time of his arrest. Prior to this incident, he had no criminal record.

Oxnard sex crimes lawyer


Ventura sex crimes lawyer Robert Helfend has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense in Ventura and throughout Southern California. He takes sex crimes cases, including those involving minors. Many sex crimes lawyers shy away from taking cases that involve minors because they find these cases too difficult to defend against, or the nature of the crimes distasteful.

Mr. Helfend does not judge his clients based on what they’re accused of. He treats sex crimes cases like all other criminal defense cases, and works diligently to provide the best possible counsel and defense to his clients.

Convictions on sex offenses in California can have lifelong consequences, regardless of the length of the sentence imposed by the Court. Sex offender registration can make it difficult to find gainful employment and suitable housing following conviction. Carelessness in maintaining proper registration information can quickly lead to re-incarceration, and long-term harassment by the police.

Don’t risk your freedom on the skills of a criminal defense attorney who does not have experience in defending against sex crimes, or who does not want to defend you aggressively. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura sex crimes case.

Photo Credit: Sander van der Wel, via Flickr.com

Murder charges for Louisiana man
Murder charges for Louisiana man
A Louisiana man already serving a life sentence for robbery, rape and kidnapping, was charged with three counts of murder in connection with the cold-case deaths of two unidentified women, one of whom was 5 months pregnant. William Chouest would have been eligible for parole in 2017. One of the victims was discovered in Ventura County. The other was found in Kern County.

According to prosecutors, DNA collected from the victims identified Chouest as a suspect in both crimes. The DNA samples collected from the victims and their clothing were tested in 2012, although the homicides happened in 1980. The samples were matched to a sample collected from Chouest while he was incarcerated.

In addition to murder charges, Chouest faces special circumstances, including murder while engaged in rape, murder while engaged in robbery and multiple murders, as well as weapons charges and habitual offender charges. Chouest has pleaded not guilty to the crimes. If convicted, he faces three life sentences without parole, as well as additional time for the weapons offenses.

An experienced Ventura murder attorney


Homicide is the most serious charge you can face in California. Quite literally, your life is at stake. In California, conviction on homicide charges can result in the death penalty, or a life sentence with or without the possibility of parole. You need the assistance of a qualified, experienced Ventura murder attorney like Robert Helfend.

Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively in Ventura County and throughout Southern California for more than 30 years. He is known as an aggressive defense attorney who goes the distance for his clients. He will work directly with you throughout the judicial process to help you create a solid defense strategy.

His first priority will be to get the charges against you reduced or dropped. When that isn’t an option, he will challenge the evidence against you; bring forward expert testimony on your behalf, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case, based on your circumstances.

Do not risk your freedom by working with an inexperienced murder attorney. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura homicide case.

Photo Credit: Randy Robertson, via Flickr.com