A 32-year-old Watsonville man was arrested last week on suspicion of sex trafficking and physically abusing a female victim for over five years, the Santa Clara County sheriff’s office reported.
Andre William Furtado was arrested Thursday in Gilroy. He faces multiple felonies for human trafficking, pimping, pandering and kidnapping.
Furtado was on probation at the time of his arrest and is a registered sex offender, according to sheriff’s officials.
Sheriff’s deputies did not provide an age for the victim, but said she is a young Gilroy woman who began dating Furtado in 2014. He allegedly persuaded her into prostitution, and taught her how to meet and collect money from customers.
After she had been engaging in prostitution for about a month, Furtado allegedly began abusing the victim and accusing her of enjoying the prostitution. He assaulted her shortly before he was arrested, and the victim showed investigators multiple scratches on her body, as well as bruising.
She also provided sheriff’s deputies with numerous photos of physical abuse she endured over the years, and detectives heard Furtado apparently admit to the abuse and apologize in a phone call with the victim.
Sheriff’s officials ultimately learned about the abuse after Furtado allegedly threatened to hurt the victim and her father, and the case was reported to law enforcement.
Furtado is currently being held in the county jail without bail, and is due for a court appearance on Wednesday.