Human Trafficking Newsletter January 2017

The following is a compendium of news reports over the last month that may be of interest to our AG offices that are dealing with state-focused human trafficking issues. Neither the National Association of Attorneys General nor the National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute expresses a view as to the accuracy of news accounts, nor as to the position expounded by the authors of the hyperlinked articles.

Legislative Action

Federal

Congress passed and the President signed S. 2974, a bill which continues funding for the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) have introduced S. 3520, the Trafficking in Persons Report Integrity Act (TIPRIA). The bill would strengthen minimum standards and clarify the ranking process, by mandating action such as requiring any country whose government sponsors forced labor to be ranked Tier 3 and requiring the State Department to specify the concrete actions (or lack thereof) undertaken by countries to change their rankings. (See story below regarding the recent General Accountability Office concerns about the 2015-2016 Trafficking in Persons reports.)

State

A finding from a Missouri House task force on human trafficking that parents have been complicit in the trafficking of their own children has prompted Representative-Elect Jean Evans to pre-file a bill that would raise the age one can marry with parental consent from age 15 to 17.

Local

The City Council of Lawrence, Kansas, is proposing to follow the lead of other Kansas towns, such as Lenexa, Overland Park, and Wichita, and pass an ordinance, suggested by the police department, which would regulate the massage industry. The industry is not regulated state-wide in Kansas.

In an attempt to discourage sex trafficking, Mesa, Arizona, has passed a new ordinance that will require professional escort services of a non-sexual nature to be licensed. Other cities in Arizona, such as Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Chandler have similar ordinances.

Tacoma, Washington, passed a city ordinance that bars massage parlors from operating between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. It is hoped that this will allow code enforcement officers to crack down on those operations which have been operating primarily at night. The proposal follows a police raid on nine parlors in Tacoma and Lakewood where one women told officers she earned $10 a day but was allowed to keep half of what she received from sexual acts.

State Investigations/Arrests/Prosecution

Arkansas

Dec. 29, 2016: Detectives in Ft. Smith, responding to an ad for prostitution, arranged to meet with two women. When they arrived, they were met by three women, including a 16-year old. The adults, Makhaela Carter, 18, and Kayla Worst, 19, were arrested and face charges of human trafficking of a minor.

California

Dec. 30, 2016: The importance of educating all community members to the red flags of human trafficking is illustrated by a story from Elk Grove. An Uber driver gave a ride to a teen-ager and two older women and heard them discussing what the girl should do once she arrived at a room in the Holiday Inn. After dropping the passengers off, he called police, reported the overheard conversations, and the hotel room number. Police arrived and arrested two women, Destiny Pettway and Maria Westley, on various charges.

Dec. 23, 2016: California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that her office has filed new criminal charges against Carl Ferrer, CEO of Backpage.com, and Michael Lacey and James, Larkin, controlling shareholders. The new charges include 26 counts of money laundering, 13 counts of pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping.

Dec. 14, 2016: A woman reported to Antioch police that she had been kidnapped and forcibly prostituted by several individuals. Malcom Lartigue, 18, Madison Gonzalez, 19, and Jamie Bobb, 18, were arrested and face charges of kidnapping for rape and human trafficking. A fourth suspect, Archie Lee Thompson, Jr., 26, remains at large.

Dec. 9, 2016: In Los Angeles, Dominique Johnson, 24, and Sean DePalm, 20, were arrested after they separately tried to recruit two 16-year old girls into commercial sex work via a social media app. The girls were, however, undercover LA Police detectives. Both men have been charged with attempted human trafficking of a minor and pandering of a minor.

Dec. 9, 2016: A Merced police investigation has led to the return of a teen to her family and the arrest of two individuals involved in prostituting her. Eduardo Osuna was recently arrested; a second suspect, Breanna Ramirez, was arrested when the teen was located in July.

Dec. 3, 2016: A joint investigation by a number of agencies, including the Long Beach Police Department’s Vice Investigations and Gang Enforcement Sections and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Custody Investigative Services, helped to identify human trafficking victims who were exploited by Andrew Jordan, 37. He was found guilty in September on a number of human trafficking charges and was sentenced in December to 21 years, 4 months in prison in Los Angeles County Superior Court. At trial, each of the victims recounted times when she had broken one of Jordan’s rules and was punished with a beating.

Dec. 2, 2016: A seven-month investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department, the South Bureau Human Trafficking Task Force, the Long Beach Police Department’s Vice unit, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has led to the conviction of two self-admitted gang members, Ulis Morris, 24, and Raylonzo Roberts, 41, on charges of human trafficking of minors. In one case, Morris picked up his victim from a juvenile placement facility. Morris was sentenced to 21 years, 4 months in state prison; Roberts was sentenced to 16 years.

Dec. 2, 2016: Riverside Sheriff’s deputies arrested 32-year old Lawrence Gunn Jr.; he has been charged with human trafficking of a 16-year old girl. A ten-month investigation has led to the identification of 20 female victims thus far.

Dec. 2, 2016: In Los Angeles, Benjamin Pennington, 38, has been sentenced to 16 years, 8 months for sex trafficking an adult and a juvenile. Prior to trial, Pennington ordered his victims not to testify. He pled guilty to human trafficking of a minor, human trafficking of an adult, and dissuading witnesses from prosecuting a crime.

Colorado

Dec. 15, 2016: Philip Hines, who was found guilty in October on human trafficking, pimping, and pandering charges, was sentenced to 24 years’ incarceration. He trafficked an adult, controlling her through beatings and drugs. The Denver DA stated that Hines is the first person to be found guilty in the 18th Judicial District of trafficking an adult since Colorado’s new laws went into effect July 1, 2014.

Dec. 7, 2016: John Charles Sears, 42, pled guilty in September to human trafficking, pimping of a child, and first-degree assaults and was sentenced in late November to 30 years in jail. He trafficked a 17-year old girl, a runaway, whom he provided with methamphetamine and a place to stay in exchange for her prostituting herself. The 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, covering Gilpin and Jefferson counties, handled the prosecution. Two others involved in the case have also pled guilty: Darla La Deaux pled to human trafficking of a child and first-degree assault and Benny Gonzales, who drove the victim to her “dates,” pled guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor and indecent exposure.

Florida

Dec. 28, 2016: A five-month long investigation has led to the arrest of Ryan Gemelle Poole on one count of human trafficking, one count of deriving support from proceeds of prostitution, and one count of using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony. The charges were announced by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Marion County Sheriff Emery Gainey who noted that one victim who was advertised on multiple sex websites has been identified but that detectives believe there may be more victims who have not yet come forward.

Dec. 22, 2016: Ft. Pierce detectives arrested Airial Johnson, 31, and Curtis Travis, 31, and charged them with trafficking 19 women. According to police, Johnson would seek out vulnerable women, set up “dates,” and get them hooked on heroin and crack cocaine. After Johnson was arrested by St. Lucie County law enforcement on drug charges, police believe Travis took over the operation. Twelve of the women involved are cooperating with police.

Dec. 15, 2016: The Polk County Sheriff’s Office conducted a 6-day undercover operation based on responding to and posting on-line ads for prostitution services. During the investigation, officers located four alleged victims of human trafficking and arrested 114 people who responded to the ads for sexual services. Among those arrested was the director of elementary curriculum at the Osceola County School Board.

Dec. 12, 2016: In central Florida, after a jury trial, Kevin Otis Taylor, 22, was found guilty of human trafficking and unlawful use of a two-way communication device. Taylor recruited a teenage girl via Facebook and through text messages to prostitute for him. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Another man, Antonio Lee, 24, pled guilty to the same charges involving the same victim. He received six years in prison.

Georgia

Dec. 30, 2016: Two Dalton men have been arrested and charged with pimping a person under 18 and trafficking a person for sexual servitude in relation to a Florida girl who is still missing. Nilageo Alvarez-Acosta, 31, and Brian Hernandez-Acosta, 26, were also charged with possession of cocaine.

Dec. 23, 2016: Five men were indicted in Gainesville for allegedly attempting to engage in sex with a minor. They were arrested as part of an undercover investigation by Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents.

Dec. 8, 2016: Valdosta police, working a prostitution sting, met a 37-year old woman who, upon discovering that the men were police officers, told them that she had been taken from state to state and forced into prostitution by two men. Police arrested Timothy Dorsey, 49, of Maryland and Mathew Lenzi, 30, of Arizona. Upon a search of the car, evidence was located that substantiated the woman’s claim.

Illinois

Dec. 5, 2016: Springfield police have arrested oriole J. Ijaola, 39, charging him with five felonies after he allegedly trafficked two women and assaulted them. According to the police report, Ijaola choked one of the women, threw her down, pointed a gun at her, stole her phone and money and then left in a taxi. The women said he had been prostituting them; one woman was allegedly taken through Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois and other states. According to authorities, Ijaola has a long criminal history in Chicago, including weapons and drug offenses.

Indiana

Dec. 29, 2016: Undercover officers in Lafayette arranged a meeting with a woman who was advertised on Backpage.com. She told police that two men forced her into prostitution, paid her with heroin, and threatened her family should she did not turn over the money he made or refused to meet with a client. Markell Tyler Scruggs, 25, and Terrell Anthony Jones, 20, have been arrested and charged with various crimes including human trafficking and promoting prostitution. The victim in the case was not arrested but is wanted on a warrant for escaping home detention and has previously been convicted of several felonies.

Dec. 8, 2016: An alert Indiana State trooper spotted a case of possible trafficking when he pulled over a car headed east on I-70 in Morgan County with an expired registration plate. In the car, driven by Procopio Torres, 21, of Texas, were three children between the ages of 12-16 that he was driving from Houston to New York City. The children did not know Torres and he did not know the children. Torres was taken to the Morgan County jail and the children were placed into protective custody.

Kentucky

Dec. 23, 2016: A Warren County jury indicted Patrick Boston, 27, and Shaon Matthews, 21, on two counts of human trafficking and one count each of promoting prostitution. Police were tipped off by an anonymous caller who said a woman was being held against her will at a local motel and forced to participate in paid sex acts.

Dec. 7, 2016: Michael Helton and Kiersten Napodano were arraigned in Christian Circuit Court and pled not guilty to prostitution and human trafficking charges. Although defense attorneys argued that bond should be reduced, the prosecuting attorney objected because both are facing possibly related charges in Tennessee. Both are charged in connection with a September sting with three counts of human trafficking, three counts of unlawful imprisonment, and one count of promoting prostitution. Helton also faces a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun. An Oak Grove Police officer, Benjamin Walden, was also arrested by Kentucky State Police in connection with this case. He has been charged with numerous crimes, including 1st degree rape, 1st degree official misconduct, 3d degree terroristic threatening, and tampering with a witness.

Louisiana

Dec. 12, 2016: Williard Anthony, 30, was found guilty of a multitude of felonies in connection to the trafficking of a woman whom Anthony met in Florida, drugged, and brought to New Orleans to prostitute. Jefferson Parish officials found the woman at a Harvey motel where she had been beaten with a pistol and a chair after Anthony and Pierre Braddy, 27, caught her trying to escape with one of her customers. The charges against Braddy are pending.

Dec. 9, 2016: Three New Orleans residents have been arrested in connection with an alleged child sex trafficking ring. An investigation began in September when a 17-year old girl, who had been reported missing from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, was recovered from a New Orleans hotel where she was engaged in commercial sex activity. Tiara Smothers, 20, was with the girl when she was located. Kendrick Pigott, 29, is alleged to be the ringleader of the ring and Gregory Russell, 31, is charged as a co-conspirator who rented hotel rooms and provided security.

Maryland

Dec. 9, 2016: A Montgomery County jury convicted Marcus Lindsey 23, on two counts of human trafficking and one of second-degree assault for hitting one of his victims multiple times after she tried to get away from him. The conviction occurred despite prosecutors being unable to produce the victim at trial. Several phone calls from jail from the defendant revealed he was confident the victim would not appear. An employee at the Radisson overheard the assault occurring and had the presence of mind to make a recording of it which was introduced at trial. Police are still searching for the victim to ensure she receives assistance.

Massachusetts

Dec. 16, 2016: The Hampden County District Attorney’s office announced that Chun Nu Li, 50, of Agawam was arrested by New York police on human trafficking charges after a five-month investigation into prostitution and human trafficking at the Feeding Hills Spa. During the execution of a search warrant, two alleged human trafficking victims were located and reunited with family.

Dec. 13, 2016: The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office has announced that two extensive human trafficking operations have recently been dismantled due to a months-long investigation by the AG office, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, and the Northampton Police Department with assistance of federal agencies and New York law enforcement agencies. Four individuals were arrested and ten victims identified. The victims were allegedly transported from New York and trafficked for commercial sex at “massage parlors.” Feng Ling Liu, 50, her husband Jian Song, 48, and her daughter Ting Ting Yin, 26, were arrested along with Shuzi Li, 52, who is alleged to run a separate but similar operation between Queens and two businesses in Massachusetts.

Michigan

Dec. 17, 2016: Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office announced the arrest of Andrew Goldman. An Ohio agency notified the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes task force that a 15-year old girl picked up in Pennsylvania revealed that another victim was headed to Michigan with Golden. Law enforcement officials then found an advertisement on an online web page that described the 17-year old girl in question. Golden was later arrested at a hotel in Southfield.

Minnesota

Dec. 23, 2016: A former football player at Rochester Community and Technical College was charged in Stillwater with aiding and abetting sex trafficking of several women. He was arrested after an undercover operation conducted by a detective with the Washington County Human Trafficking Unit answered an ad and found two women, an 18 and a 20-year old, who admitted that Tyree Erik Jones was receiving the money they made from prostitution.

Dec. 20, 2016: Two men have been arrested in Washington County for allegedly aiding in the sex trafficking of two women. An undercover officer responded to an advertisement on Backpage.com and encountered Tyree Jones, 23, and Deno Williams, 32. The Washington County Attorney’s Office has approximately 50 open sex trafficking cases that it is currently prosecuting.

New Hampshire

Dec. 8, 2016: William Shine, who is serving a 14 to 60 year prison sentence of selling a 14-year old girl into prostitution, has been sentenced to an additional 3 to 30 year sentence after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting the teen and to an unrelated theft charge. His wife pled earlier this year to trafficking in persons and theft. She was sentenced to 11 to 30 years in prison. The Shines attempted to sell the girl to a police informant in an attempt to make quick cash.

New Jersey

Dec. 25, 2016: In Camden County, Trenton resident, Brian Moore, 47, was sentenced to 20 years in state prison after he was convicted of five counts of first-degree human trafficking and six counts of third-degree promoting prostitution. Four victims testified at his trial that Moore used their addiction to drugs and threats of violence to force them to engage in prostitution.

Dec. 15, 2016: The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced that, in Hackensack, 32- year old Ernestine Bowman has pled guilty to various charges tied to running a human trafficking ring with her husband, stepson, and two others that forced teenage girls into prostitution. She is expected to be sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.

Dec. 10, 2016: Michael Keenan, 23, of Mount Olive, was arrested on Thanksgiving and charged with human trafficking. A subsequent investigation has led to new charges against him for trafficking another teen-aged victim.

New York

Dec. 24, 2016: In Queens, Hakim Jones, 22, pled guilty to sex trafficking a 15-year old. He threatened her with physical violence and, once, hit her in the mouth when she resisted after finding out she had to go on 17 “dates.”

North Carolina

Dec. 16, 2016: The Craven County Sheriff’s office announced the arrest of Alvin Ray Wright, 46, and Michael Miller, 44, on human trafficking of an adult victim and related charges. They allegedly advertised the victim on Backpage.com.

Dec. 3, 2016: Onslow County authorities have arrested 67-year old Harold Tanner and charged him with two counts of felony profiting from prostitution of a mentally disabled person, felony human trafficking of a child, and related charges. He is said to have encouraged a disabled child to engage in prostitution and held the minor in sexual servitude.

Ohio

Dec. 29, 2016: In what some commentators are calling the most extensive human trafficking case in Hamilton County, police have arrested four suspects for trafficking four individuals at the Red Roof Inn in Blue Ash. Police stumbled on the operation while looking for one of the suspects who had an outstanding warrant. Four individuals have been indicted on more than a dozen counts of human trafficking: Marcus Phillips, Michael Ingram, Mariah Boyle, and Ashley Durham. The women were allegedly paid with crack or heroin.

Oklahoma

Dec. 29, 2016: Two men and a woman have been arrested in Altus for allegedly trafficking a 26-year old female for sex. Altus police began its investigation while looking into a complaint of a disturbance at a Budget Inn. Jason Boylan, 20, Tyler Butler, 24, and Jonalea Muck, 20, were taken into custody.

Dec. 16, 1016: In July, a woman called the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs human trafficking hotline, reporting that she had seen a former young neighbor on the street in Oklahoma City and, while chatting with her, had a “bad feeling.” Investigators located the 16-year old who told police that she had been prostituting herself for Tiadrian Freeman and that he had punched her and had her get his name tattooed on her back. Freeman, 21, has been arrested and is facing seven charges including human trafficking.

Oregon

Dec. 17, 2016: In the high desert of Malheur County, an undercover operation targeting sex buyers has led to the arrest of 15 individuals. The men arrested ranged from the age of 18 to 62.

Pennsylvania

Dec. 8, 2016: In Salix, the preliminary hearing for a Johnstown man, Barsay Reqwan Dunbar, 35, was delayed after one of the victims notified police that she had received a threat to keep her from appearing. Dunbar has been charged with sex trafficking involving two women who were addicted to heroin.

Dec. 6, 2016: Delaware County prosecutors have charged Matthew Jeffrey Sipps with violating a new state law by having sex with a teenager he knew was a victim of human trafficking. The law makes the activity a second degree felony.

Dec. 2, 2016: Martin C. Mercado, 35, pled guilty in Berks County to trafficking a 16-year old girl for sex in exchange for drugs.He was sentenced to three to eight years in state prison in what prosecutors believe is the first involuntary servitude conviction in the state. Mercado admitted to providing the girl with a number of drugs in return for her having sex with him. According to Pennsylvania’s involuntary servitude law, passed in 2014, one must provide something in exchange for sex with a minor and use threats if there is no compliance. In this case, Mercado told the child he would have gangs murder her if she told anyone about the drugs or sex.

South Dakota

Dec. 12, 2016: Sioux Falls police investigating an online advertisement arrested Jerome Davis Kent, 50, for pimping and human trafficking.

Texas

Dec. 30, 2016: In Tyler, James Ellis, 21, and Quintus Blaylock, 24, have been arrested on human trafficking and related charges after two girls, one 15 and one 14, told police that they had been advertised on Backpage.com and trafficked for sexual purposes.

Dec. 12, 2016: Marquist Fulcher Tarrant, 27, was arrested in early December for allegedly trying to flee from a <href="#0">Ft. Worth police while driving a stolen truck. He has now also facing charges of compelling prostitution of a person under 18, trafficking, and sexual assault of a child. The victim in this case, a runaway from Houston, was found in October. She had been working for another pimp, but left him when he became violent and turned to Tarrant to receive food and housing. She was 14 when she first became a sex trafficking victim.

Virginia

Dec. 29, 2016: Virginia Beach Police arrested Anthony Termaine Coleman, 32, from Washington, D.C., accusing him of pimping out a minor for sex. Coleman has a previous conviction for rape and is a registered sex offender in Maryland.

Washington

Dec. 3, 2016: Three men have been accused of sex trafficking a girl from Edmonds, beginning when she was 12. Police have arrested one of the suspects and are looking for two others. The investigation was spearheaded by the child’s parents who reported to police that she had seen messages between her daughter and a man on Facebook that described coordinating customers to have sex with the girl.

Wisconsin

Dec. 14, 2016: After receiving an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers of Waukesha County, police served search warrants at three local massage parlors and a residence. Several people were arrested. The investigation is ongoing, hampered by a language barrier.

Dec. 4, 2016: The first undercover sting looking into possible human trafficking in the Marinette-Menominee area has led to the arrest of two men. The Department of Criminal Investigation arrested Charles Deal and Gerald Ratajczak. They face felony charges of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. In addition Ratajczak faces child enticement-sexual contact charges and Deal has been charged with soliciting a child for prostitution.

News of General Interest

The U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the State Department’s 2015 and 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report, noting that they “lacked clear explanations for some countries’ rankings, or for decisions to upgrade or downgrade a country to a different tier.” The report is available here.

The U.N. Special Rapporteur on human trafficking, Maria Giammarinaro, recently finished a nine-day U.S. tour. She concluded that labor trafficking victims in construction, farming, and doing domestic help are severely undercounted in the United States and criticized the H-2 visa program for the lack of portability where a visa holder can work for another employer other than the one for which the original visa was issued.

According to a report released by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, children comprise almost one-third of all human trafficking victims worldwide and women and girls make up 71 per cent of human trafficking victims. In Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America and the Caribbean, 62 to 64 percent of human trafficking victims are children.

The American Journal of Public Healthpublished a study comparing the level and type of childhood adversity experienced by boys and girls exploited in human trafficking to the childhood adversity experienced by similar boys and girls by age, ethnicity, and family income. The study found that boys who had been sexually abused were 8.2 times more likely to be exploited in human trafficking than those without such a history and girls were 2.5 times more likely to be exploited in human trafficking than girls who had not experienced such trauma.

Experts have noted the potential that pornography fuels sex trafficking in a number of ways, including fueling the demand by desensitizing and providing rationalization for exploiters. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation recently issued a report titled “Pornography: A Public Health Crisis.” The Utah legislature in March passed a resolution stating that pornography is “a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms.” In Virginia, Del. Robert Marshall has proposed that a similar resolution be passed in the Commonwealth.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office has issued its 2016 “State Report on Human Trafficking.” It is a comprehensive look into the human trafficking incidents within the state, an update on the IPATH task force efforts, and next steps and recommendations for future efforts to combat human trafficking in the state.

Two articles in the January issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics deal with physicians’ interactions with suspected victims of human trafficking. The first article reviews an emergency department’s dilemma in dealing with a suspected trafficking victim that the patient’s “brother” insists is mentally ill. The second article highlights the dilemma that physicians may encounter in dealing with suspected human trafficking victims regarding potential criminal charges and reporting obligations.

In what is believed to be the first effort of its kind by a city, the Phoenix City Council has voted to purchase an apartment complex that will become transitional housing for sex trafficking victims.

In Cincinnati, a two-year program, called CHANGE court, has graduated its first two graduates. The program allows those who have been charged with prostitution, including victims of sex trafficking, to become sober and expunge a criminal record.

Arizona State University’s School of Social Work recently published its 2016 “Youth Experiences Report.” The study found that one in three of the state’s homeless young adults has been sex trafficked. Those who had been victimized by sex trafficking had higher rates of substance abuse and mental health issues, including suicide attempts and nearly half identified as LGBTQ.

Ohio has launched training for survivors of human trafficking to help other survivors to recover.

President Obama’s proclamation proclaiming January 2017 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month as released in late December. In addition, Attorneys General throughout the country are recognizing January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, focusing on January 11 as Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt jointed Kansas Governor Sam Brownback along with numerous other state officials to proclaim January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has noted the achievements his office has made to focus on stopping human trafficking in the state. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is hosting a traveling portrait exhibit “Faces of Freedom: Voices Calling for the End of Modern Day Slavery.

The Massachusetts AG’s Office announced that, in the past year, AAG Jennifer Snook led the Division’s investigative and prosecutorial efforts in trying and preparing for trial many of the Office’s human trafficking cases. These cases include Commonwealth v. Steven Diaz and Marquis Campbell, co-defendants who forced a young woman into prostitution by exploiting her addiction and providing her with drugs, and Commonwealth v. Michael and Shaun Leoney, co-defendants who operated an out-call prostitution ring. Steven Diaz was convicted of human trafficking and deriving support from prostitution after standing trial in May 2016. The other three defendants ultimately pled guilty to human trafficking and deriving support from prostitution. The Division will continue its survivor-centric, multidisciplinary approach to human trafficking cases in 2017.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s office announced that Kathryn Moorhead has been hired as the new coordinator of the state’s Human Trafficking Task Force. Formerly, she was the director of a counter trafficking organization in Cambodia.

A police car in Roanoke, Virginia, is being wrapped with information about human trafficking. The police chief hopes that it raises community awareness and will prompt calls when someone sees something that doesn’t look quite right. A recent case prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney in Roanoke was discovered because a concerned citizen saw an older man with a young child at a local motel and called police.


Judy McKee is the Editor of Human Trafficking Newsletter and may be reached at 202-326-6044. The Human Trafficking Newsletter is a publication of the National Association of Attorneys General. Any use and/or copies of this newsletter in whole or part must include the customary bibliographic citation. NAAG retains copyright and all other intellectual property rights in the material presented in this publication. For content submissions or to contact the editor directly, please e-mail jmckee@naag.org.

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