Generally, an accomplice is a person who is liable to prosecution for the identical offense with which the defendant is charged; a defendant’s conviction cannot be sustained solely on the uncorroborated testimony of such a person. (§ 1111.) However, “it has been uniformly held in this state that the woman who is exploited by a male in violation of section 266h is not an accomplice of the man who exploits her.” (People v. Berger (1960) 185 Cal.App.2d 16, 20-21.) “[T]he prostitute whose earnings are taken is not an accomplice . . . .” (People v. Frey (1964) 228 Cal.App.2d 33, 52 (Frey).)
Under these rules, Q. and D. were not defendant’s accomplices: they were exploited women who told similar stories about how he recruited them into prostitution and kept them there despite their efforts to leave. It is true that Q. had posted a “companionship” advertisement on the Internet, but she had never actually worked as a prostitute before defendant contacted her and talked her into entering his employ. When Q. tried to leave, he denigrated her and refused to give her any money. In D.’s case, defendant’s actions were even more egregious; D. had posted no Internet advertisement. She was working as a clerk in a drugstore to support herself and her two-year-old child when defendant approached and began flattering and flirting with her. When D. tried to leave him, at least partially in hope that she could regain custody of her child, defendant showed up at her new job and harried her until she returned to work for him.
Defendant particularly urges that none of D.’s testimony was credible because she was charged with the same crimes as he. We do not find this dispositive. In People v. Frayer (1956) 140 Cal.App.2d 597, 598-599, the court noted that while “a woman who