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Home blog Criminal Defense In the News Sex Crimes Appellate Court Drops Some Pimping Charges Against Former Moreno Valley School Board Member

Appellate Court Drops Some Pimping Charges Against Former Moreno Valley School Board Member

By Michael Guisti on January 28, 2015

Moreno Valley, CA — People often think that the appeals process is meant to allow those who have been convicted of a crime to prove their innocence. However, the truth is that most convictions are won on procedural grounds and sometimes only win a defendant a right to a second trial. While having a conviction overturned because of improper prosecutorial conduct or illegal evidence might seem a bit nitpicky, it is important to remember that one of our core principles is the right of everyone to due process under the law. If that due process is violated then a judge has no choice but to overturn a conviction or undo a lower court ruling.

On Monday, California’s 4th District Court of Appeal dismissed 9 of the 12 pimping charges that Mike Rios, 44, had been convicted of in 2013. However, Rios’ appellate attorney John Schuck plans to appeal the ruling on the grounds that his client’s prison sentence of 14 years 4 months was not reduced because his sentences are being served concurrently.

Rios was convicted on 12 counts of pimping, 5 counts of pandering, and one count of insurance fraud. Officers uncovered a prostitution ring that Rios was operating out of his house while investigating an unrelated incident in which Rios allegedly fired a gun at men who had followed him home from a bar. Prosecutors say that Rios pimped three women in 2011 and 2012 and unsuccessfully tried to employ two additional women as prostitutes.

The appeals court overturned 9 out of the 12 pimping convictions on the grounds that “pimping is a continuous offense” so Rios can only be charged once for each woman he was pimping out. The court declined to dismiss two of the pandering charges because attempting to recruit a woman as a prostitute is pandering whether or not the attempt is successful. Schuck intends to appeal to the Supreme Court to have the additional pandering charges dropped and for his clients’ sentence to be reduced. Rios was removed from the school board following his conviction.

The appeals process is an important part of our justice system because it helps ensure that judges, prosecutors and law enforcement are held accountable. If a defendant is convicted on the basis of illegally obtained evidence or if a jury is presented with prejudicial information unrelated to the case, that can be enough to invalidate a verdict and require a new trial.

Appeals are one of many services in which the help of a criminal defense attorney can be invaluable. At the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti, we’ve helped hundreds of clients from across Southern California to have the charges against them reduced or dismissed. Whether you’ve been charged with domestic violence in San Diego, identity theft in Westminster, or assault in Brea, one of our skilled, knowledgeable legal professionals can help you mount a successful courtroom defense against felony or misdemeanor charges.

We’ve been serving Orange County courtrooms for over 16 years, and we know the best strategies for fighting any criminal charge. Our offices in Garden Grove, Irvine, Newport Beach, and Santa Ana, are conveniently located near state and federal court facilities. As a part of our commitment to aiding our diverse local community, we are proud to offer foreign language assistance in Spanish, Chinese, and other languages.

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, it can be extremely frightening. We understand that and we want to help you tackle your legal issues so you can keep your life on track. Call the Law Office of Michael L. Guisti today at (714) 707-2797 for a free consultation.


Ghori, Imran and Nikie Johnson. “9 of 12 pimping charges dismissed against former school board member in Moreno Valley.” http://www.ocregister.com/articles/former-649254-charges-pimping.html. Orange County Register. 26 January 2015.

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