Convicted California sex trafficker says women acted willingly

MARTINEZ, Calif. -- It's a dirty underworld that played out in the light of day, over a span of more than 10 years in the East Bay suburbs, in places like Pleasant Hill, Bay Point, and Antioch. Deandre Lewis is being called one of the most violent and prolific sex traffickers in the history of Contra Costa County.

"I'm not a monster. That's a fact," said the 34-year-old, who has now spent more than four years at the Contra Costa County Jail in Martinez.

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"I have never forced anyone to do anything they did not want to do. I've never put a gun to someone's head," said Lewis. "I've never threatened someone and said you are going to sell your body or whatever."

Last month, a jury convicted Lewis of 37 felonies, involving at least seven women, over a decade.

He met at least one of the women at Diablo Valley College, where they were both students.

VIDEO: 'I'm not a monster' convicted East Bay sex trafficker talks to ABC7 News
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It's a dirty underworld that played out in the light of day, over a span of more than 10 years in the East Bay suburbs, in places like Pleasant Hill, Bay Point and Antioch.

"He's one of the most violent human traffickers that we've had in this county," said Deputy District Attorney Chad Mahalich, who prosecuted Lewis. "He was incredibly violent. He was incredibly abusive. He used physical manipulation, psychological control, and extreme violence, including raping and defiling multiple women."

The jury even heard a phone call Lewis made from jail to a co-conspirator, ordering her to torture another woman who owed him money.

"Where is the rest of my money?" an angry Lewis is heard saying on the call. "If that b**** ain't got the money in her account, beat that b**** a** right now. I want to hear all that, I want to hear screaming and all that."

Later, the female associate is heard telling Lewis: "She might have a concussion. I hit her with a frying pan."

According to prosecutors, at Lewis' urging, the woman was severely beaten and stabbed and nearly bled-out before she was taken finally taken to a local hospital.

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"I met Deandre when I was 16," Lewis' ex-wife told ABC7 News and while he never forced her to have sex with others, prosecutors say the ex-wife was very much his victim.

"He threatened my family. He beat me on several occasions. He held a gun to my head," she explained. "My son witnessed some of it, unfortunately."

On Friday in a Martinez courtroom, Lewis will find out if he'll be sentenced to at least 150 years in state prison.

"At the end of the day, I've never made anyone do anything they did not want to do," maintained Lewis during the jailhouse interview. "Anybody whose ever been around me, it's cause they chose to. They wanted to."

"He's just a very twisted individual," said Mahalich, "And I would say that he's hopefully one of the worst we see, but unfortunately there are many individuals that do this to women out there."
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