Crime - Sacto 911

Mother, son plead no contest to pimping charges

A mother and son have pleaded to contest pimping in a case involving the prostitution of a 14-year-old girl.

Zayquan Howard, 21, pleaded no contest Friday in Sacramento County Superior Court to one count of human trafficking and one count of pimping a minor under 16 years old. His mother, Shameka Howard, 39, pleaded no contest to one count of pimping, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

The 14-year-old victim met Zayquan Howard in November 2013. Authorities said he forcefully took her for three days, gave her alcohol, beat her and forced her to prostitute. He threatened the girl, saying he would shoot up her home if she didn’t do what he told her to do. The victim had approximately 20 forced dates before her mother found her and took her home.

In March 2014, Zayquan Howard found the girl and kept her for two days. She was forced to walk Watt Avenue and had approximately eight more forced dates, authorities said.

During this time, Shameka Howard rented motel rooms for her son and let him use her cell hone. When Zayquan Howard was arrested, his mother took his phone and hid it from officers to try to conceal ads he had placed on a website used by escorts and sex workers, authorities said.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Zayquan Howard will be sentenced to 20 years in prison and Shameka Howard will be sentenced to three years in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office. Sentencing is set for May 14 before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.