MARTINEZ -- Before testifying against her boyfriend, Timothy Williams, the man accused of beating and pimping her, Jane Doe sat in the courthouse hallway with him, playing with their infant daughter.
"He's the love of my life," the woman, who this newspaper is not naming, would later testify Friday inside the courtroom.
Reluctantly called as a prosecution witness and granted immunity, the 32-year-old woman spent Friday describing how she fell in love with Williams and said he was her "boyfriend," not her "pimp," although she worked as a prostitute while they were dating.
She said her memory was blurry in January 2012, due to a former crack cocaine and alcohol addiction, when Williams is alleged to have grabbed her by the hair and slammed her face into a car dashboard in a fight over food stamps.
Williams -- who has pleaded not guilty to felony pimping, pandering and human trafficking charges from Dec. 21, 2011, to Jan. 27, 2012 -- never hurt her nor threatened to hurt her, she said. The prosecution disagreed.
"This case comes down to greed, power and control," prosecutor Chad Mahalich told the jury in his opening statement.
He called the relationship a classic case of "Romeo pimping," where a pimp makes promises, flirts and seduces someone to keep her under his control. The prosecutor told the jury how the woman has been uncooperative with police and prosecutors, refusing to testify at the preliminary hearing.
"I don't know what exactly she's going to say today on the witness stand," Mahalich told the jurors during opening statements. He added that an expert would testify how prostitutes are often reluctant to snitch on their pimps.
The woman, wearing glasses and her hair pulled into a bun and with her attorney sitting beside her, made it clear she would rather go to jail than see Williams do time.
"This would be the last place I want to be right now," she testified, stressing that she no longer worked as a prostitute.
The woman, who went by the name "Summer Breeze" with clients, said she started working as a prostitute at age 18 and always worked as an "independent contractor." She said she met Williams, 49, of Richmond, who went by "Texas Tea," in 2011, and he began driving her to clients' residences.
"He was my boyfriend, and I felt more safe knowing he was out there if something would happen," she said.
She said she spent her money on drugs, sent some to her mother and gave Williams cash for gas and other things. Mahalich said that contradicted what she initially told police: that she would give her entire earnings of $1,000 per week to Williams. Mahalich added that the woman nodded yes multiple times when police first asked her in 2012 if Williams was her pimp.
Police found both of their cellphones, and the woman was listed as "Bitch" in Williams' contact names, Mahalich said, a name pimps often use for their prostitutes.
Mahalich said texts between the pair discussed prostitution fees and included threats of violence, and Williams helped her create a Redbook page to advertise prostitution services online.
The woman told deputy public defender Kaylie Simon that the terms "pimpin,'" "bitch" and "out of pocket," found in text messages between the pair, are commonly used in rap songs and elsewhere with meanings unrelated to prostitution.
"You don't have to like (Williams)," Simon told the jury in the opening statements. "You don't have to think he's a respectful boyfriend. That's not what he's on trial for."
Williams, who is out of custody, sat quietly throughout the proceedings.
Simon told the jury the woman introduced Williams to her mother in 2011, and the mom would testify that he had a job buying and selling cars at the time.
She said the mother would testify that her daughter chose to become a prostitute on her own at age 18, long before she met Williams.
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026.