Patrick Boston, the man accused of operating an interstate prostitution ring that allegedly involved the coerced participation of an 18-year-old Nebraska woman, was sentenced in court Tuesday to three years in state prison.
Boston’s sentence was in accordance with the terms of a conditional plea agreement made with the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office earlier this month. In exchange for a plea of no contest to a felony pandering charge, charges of human trafficking and pimping were dropped, and Boston received the low term recommended by sentencing guidelines. He was also forced to relinquish more than $4,000 dollars, his laptop, and the white Cadillac that he was driving at the time of his arrest.
When asked to comment on the decision to offer such a seemingly generous plea agreement, Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman cited a number of “real potential difficulties” that presented themselves as her office looked into the possibility of trying the case. “The victim, for one, was uncooperative,” Waldman said, “After multiple attempts to contact her were unsuccessful, we knew that we were likely going to be in an all or nothing situation.”
According to Waldman, if her office had gone ahead with the preparations for trial, and then been unable to locate the victim, the District Attorney would have likely been forced to drop the entire case. “This way,” Waldman said, “we know he will serve time and have a felony on his record.”
Waldman also went on to say that, in addition, her office would have had a lot of difficulty proving that the victim was indeed forced, implying she had reason to believe that the previously reported charges of coercion were not necessarily accurate, stating “there was a reason we didn’t file any kidnapping charges.”
“Under the circumstances,” she said, “I believe this outcome was positive.”