Human Trafficking: What Florida Judges Need to Know

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Human Trafficking: What Florida Judges Need to Know
THE NATIONAL
JUDICIAL COLLEGE
EDUCATION | INNOVATION | ADVANCING JUSTICE
SPONSORED BY THE STATE JUSTICE INSTITUTE
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: WHAT FLORIDA
JUDGES NEED TO KNOW
Professor Terry Coonan
Judge Lynn Tepper
OBJECTIVES:
After this session, you will be able to:
1.
Describe how the Trafficking Victim Protection Act of 2000 and Florida law have
changed previous definitions of slavery;
2.
Define how force, fraud, and coercion are employed against victims in modern human
trafficking cases; and
3.
Apply Florida’s human trafficking statutory provisions to case studies.
REQUIRED READING:
PAGE
Terry Coonan and William Brunson, Human Trafficking: What Florida
Judges Need to Know (May 2014) [NJC PowerPoint] ....................................................................1
S&I:
HUMAN TRAFFICKING: WHAT FLORIDA JUDGES NEED TO KNOW
JUNE 13, 2014
ORLANDO, FLORIDA
WB/KZ
Human Trafficking:
What Florida Judges
Need to Know
Presented by:
Professor Terry Coonan
Florida State University
What Is Human Trafficking?
Forms of modern-day slavery that
involve the exploitation of persons for
commercial sex or forced labor
Often involves crossing an international
border but does not require movement
Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion
to control their victims
A Human Rights Crisis
Approximately 27 million people held
in slavery worldwide
Estimated 500,000 to 2 million people
trafficked worldwide annually
Estimated 15,000 to 18,000 trafficked
annually into the United States
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A Global Phenomenon
International trends since late 1980s
led to the rapid growth of trafficking:
Increased ability by people to
cross borders
Increased poverty worldwide
Result: desperately poor people
immigrate to seek work
Origin & Destination Countries
The U.S. is one of the
most popular
destinations for
human trafficking.
The “Natasha Trade” Emerges
in Eastern Europe
2
Trafficking of Asian Migrants by
“Snakeheads” Becomes Lucrative
International Business
Children Are Routinely Enslaved in
West African Cocoa Farms
Children Are Also Exploited in
Conflict Zones Around the
World as Child Soldiers
3
Women Continue to Make Up 70%
of the Victims Worldwide
Migrant Farmworkers are
Exploited Routinely
A Lucrative Business
Yields an estimated $32 billion
in profits each year world wide
An estimated $9 – $12 billion
earned in the United States
4
Organized Crime
After drug trafficking, human
trafficking is the most lucrative
business for organized crime
Unlike drugs, humans can be
resold again and again
It’s Here in the United States
It’s Here in Florida
5
Trafficking: It’s Here
in Florida
Florida ranks number three in the
country for human trafficking
cases (following New York and
California)
Florida has been the scene of the
largest sex trafficking and labor
trafficking cases in the U.S.
Reported Florida Cases
Cases reported of:
Sex trafficking of U.S. adults
Sex trafficking of foreign nationals
Sex trafficking of U.S. minors
Labor trafficking of foreign
nationals & U.S. citizens
U.S. and Florida
Trafficking Trends
and Cases
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U.S. Sex Trafficking Trends
1. Agricultural brothels
2. Massage establishments
3. Internet based prostitution
4. Domestic minor sex trafficking (“DMST”)
5. Major Sporting Events
6. Delivery “Outcall” Services
7. Hotel “Incall” Services
8. Strip Clubs
(1) Agricultural Brothels
(1) Agricultural Brothels
Cater to migrant male customers
(farmworkers, construction workers,
etc.)
Bulk prostitution operations
Victims often paying off smuggling
debts
Victims are moved frequently
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The Waiting Room
“The Work Station”
Tools of the Trade
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Cash Intensive Operations
Victim Belongings
(2) Massage Establishments
9
2011 Belinschi Case (Orlando)
Women from Eastern Europe brought to
work as prostitutes in Orlando massage
parlors
Investigators break case with videos taken
during undercover operation (Colonial
Drive)
Exploited women from Moldova, Ukraine,
and Russia
“Massage” Parlor
Roman Caraiman – Fugitive at Large
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(3) Internet-based Prostitution
Prostitution 20 Yrs Ago:
Streetwalking
10 Yrs Ago: Throwaway Newspapers
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2014: Internet’s Virtual Street Corner
2014: Internet’s Virtual Street Corner
Prostitution – and sex trafficking – have
proliferated through websites
Backpage allows 3rd party users to post
ads for $5-$10 . . . Makes over $22
million annually
70% of profits from “adult services”
ads
Polk County Florida Internet Sting
(Sheriff Grady Judd)
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“Operation Last House Call”
“Operation Last House Call”
Internet child sex trafficking sting by
Polk County Sheriff’s Office
22 suspects encountered in the sting
include white and blue collar
workers, a member of the National
Guard, a registered sex offender and
a government contractor with top
secret clearance.
(4) Domestic Minor
Sex Trafficking
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Domestic Minor
Sex Trafficking
Average U.S.
age of entry
into prostitution
is now 13 years
old
Children are
being groomed
into prostitution
Runaway and Throwaway Children:
America’s Newest Homeless Class
Largest Number of Sex
Trafficking Victims in the U.S.
An estimated 100,000+ victims
annually
Many resort to “survival sex”
90% of female minor runaways
come in contact with a pimp within
48 hours of leaving home
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Domestic Recruiting Locations
Schools
Juvenile
courts
Malls
Bus
stations
Glorification of the
Pimp Lifestyle
DMST Victims
The Reality
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DMST Victims
Before and After
Tattoo Branding by Pimps
Tattoo Branding by Pimps
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2011 Gordon Case
(Jacksonville)
2011 Gordon Case
(Jacksonville)
15 year old female runs away from
juvenile treatment & rehabilitation
center in Jacksonville
Within 36 hours meets Ian Sean
Gordon
Is taken to a private residence and
introduced to crack cocaine
Gordon Exploitation
Prostituted at Super 8
Motel on Phillips Hwy
Victim kept naked
in hotel room
For 3 weeks is beaten,
choked, brutalized,
and forced into 50+
commercial sex acts
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Gordon Victim Escape
& Gordon Sentencing
Girl escapes on 3rd attempt and
contacts mother
Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office & FBI
investigate
Gordon given life sentence by federal
judge, citing his brutality and his
manipulation of the victim with illicit
drugs
2013 Rodriguez Case
(Orlando)
2013 Rodriguez Case (Orlando)
Dec. 2010: 15 year old girl visiting
Ybor City with a friend is offered a
ride home by pimp Weylin “Rico”
Rodriguez
Once in his car, pimp’s accomplice
Tatuana Joye hands him a gun
Rodriquez tells girl, “now you’re a
ho.”
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Rodriguez’s “Bottom Bitches”
2013 Rodriguez Case
Rodriguez told girl that if she made
enough money prostituting, he would
take her home to her mother
Girl beaten by Rodriguez’s “bottoms”
and forced to street walk for the next
two nights on Orange Blossom Trail
in Orlando
Rescued by Good Samaritan motorist
who took her home to Apopka
2013 Rodriguez Case
Investigation reveals that Rodriguez had
previously romanced (“cupcaked”) or
kidnapped other teens, forcing them into
street prostitution in Tampa, Orlando, and
Charlotte, NC
Rodriquez tattooed many of his victims
March 2013: Rodriguez given life
sentence for child sex trafficking . . .
Victims attend his sentencing
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2013 Rodriguez Case
(Orlando)
March 2013: Rodriguez given life
sentence for child sex trafficking
Victims attend his sentencing and
note how the “power equation”
had changed
(5) Sporting Events and
Sex Trafficking
Child Sex Trafficking &
Sporting Events
Major sporting events have
become lucrative venues for sex
trafficking of women and children
Large groups of male sports fans
with $$$$ provide demand
Backpage ads reflect greatly
enhanced supply & demand
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(6) Delivery “Outcall” Services
Prostitute is delivered to the
customer
Private homes, trailer parks, or
customer hotel rooms are the
venues for prostitution
Meant to evade Law Enforcement
brothel surveillance
2007 Melchor Case
(Tallahassee)
Prostitution delivery service operated
by Colombian crime ring
Multiple Florida locations (Orlando,
Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami,
Tallahassee)
Young women lured from over a dozen
different Latin American countries
2007 Melchor Case
1st
major mobile brothel
case in Florida (women
delivered to trailer parks)
Prostitution ring began in
post Katrina construction
sites
Thrift store in Tampa
used to launder the
profits
21
2007 Melchor Case
Business Cards Distributed
Florida Wide
2007 Melchor Case
Women were delivered to trailer parks
for nightly prostitution (off Highway
90)
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FDLE Phone Evidence at Trial
2007 Melchor Case
Coercion by both male and female
enforcers
Exploited both consenting and nonconsenting women
“johns” compelled to give testimony about
the brothel network
Completely different accounts between
johns and victims at Tallahassee federal
trial
(7) Hotel “Incall” Prostitution
Customer goes to the prostitute’s
hotel location
Often internet driven
Meant to evade traditional law
enforcement brothel surveillance
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Pimp Benjamin
“Benji” Nelson
2010 Nelson Case (Orlando)
2010 Nelson Case (Orlando)
Prostitution sting leads to discovery that U.S.
citizen single mother is working for a pimp
who takes her five-month-old infant every
morning as collateral for a debt
Pimp uses 16 year old female enforcer
(“bottom bitch”) to coerce/intimidate the
single mother
Victim is “advertised” on internet for “incall”
sex
First jury trial charged under Florida sex
trafficking statute resulting in a conviction
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(8) Sex Trafficking & Strip Clubs
A growing number of pimps are
using strip clubs as a venue for
sex trafficking
Often involves a female recruiter or
enforcer
The strip clubs typically claim
ignorance of the crime
2009 Vegas Showgirls Case
(St. Petersburg)
Vegas Showgirls Case
Case begins with tip to Pinellas County
Sheriff’s Office
Sexual assault report by a dancer at Vegas
Showgirls Strip Club in St. Petersburg leads
to discovery that a number of the club’s
dancers are being held in a waterfront
home in Treasure Island
Home was the rented residence of several
pimps who were exploiting the women
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Treasure Island Residence
The Sex Trafficking
Conspiracy
Corinna Shaffer (a dancer at Vegas
Showgirls) is allowed by Cornelous to
live at his Treasure Island home in
exchange for working as his prostitute,
sexually servicing him and his friends,
and acting as his recruiter
Told to recruit other girls to dance and
prostitute (“the more vulnerable the
better”)
Bottom-Recruiter-Handler
Corinna Shaffer
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The Exploitation
Victims face extreme brutality and
slave-like conditions in the Treasure
Island home that LE investigators term
torture
Cornelous confiscates their cell
phones, ID cards, and demands $1,000
each night in prostitution proceeds
Women are raped by Cornelous in front
of the others when they fail to bring in
the nightly quota
Prolonged Legal Proceedings
Cornelous convicted in 2013 of
sexual battery and human
trafficking, and given 19 year
prison sentence
U.S. Labor Trafficking Cases
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U.S. Venues for
Labor Trafficking
Private Homes
Nail salons
Farm worker
camps
Strip clubs
Hotels/Resorts
Sweatshops
Industry
Restaurants
U.S. Labor Trafficking Cases
The largest number of trafficking
cases nationwide
The largest number of victims
Often occur “in plain sight”
Often involve legitimate U.S.
businesses
U.S. Labor Trafficking Cases
The two sectors of Florida’s economy
where forced labor most prevalent:
1. the agricultural sector
2. the tourism and hospitality industries
Forced labor has also been discovered in
Restaurants
Golf resorts
Private homes (domestic servitude)
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The 2005 Evans Case
(U.S. Citizen Labor Trafficking Victims)
Homeless men & women recruited from
Florida shelters to work Palatka farms
“Company Store” model used to drive up
worker debts
Workers paid with alcohol & crack
cocaine
Evans Case
Evans Case
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Evans Case
Labor Trafficking
in Florida Hotels
San Destin Hilton Case
The Victims:
Eastern European college students
admitted on J-1 student visas
Arrived with plane tickets that
would cost $2,000+ to change
30
San Destin Hilton Case
The Traffickers – Eastern European
Organized Crime Groups:
Eurohouse (2 companies)
Southern Amenity et al
Sigor, Inc. ISS Inc., et al
High Quality Services
MVA Right Services
EBS
DarPol & AmPol Maint
Panhandle Locations
Southeastern U.S. Locations
31
2008 Paulin House Slavery Case (Miami)
Exploitation of the Haitian restavec
tradition
Victim was brought as a young girl
from a Haitian orphanage to the
Cutler Bay
Traffickers had administered the
orphanage in Haiti
A Study in Contrasts
Haiti
Cutler Bay, Florida
2008 Paulin House
Slavery Case (Miami)
Child exploited for six years as a
house slave by Miami middle school
teacher Maude Paulin
Made to work 15 hours a day, 7 days
a week
Forced to sleep on floor, shower with
garden hose in the back yard; never
allowed to go to school
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Miami-Dade School Teacher
Maude Paulin
Defense of “Cultural
Misunderstanding”
Jury Disagrees
Paulin given 7 year sentence and
required to pay $162,000 restitution
2010 Manuel Case (Boca Raton)
Husband & wife Filipino
subcontractors lure Filipino cruise
ship employees to Boca Raton
promising high paying “land” jobs
50+ Filipinos are held in a gated
neighborhood and contracted out to
the Boca Woods Country Club
2010 Manuel Case (Boca Raton)
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2010 Manuel Case (Boca Raton)
Upon arrival in
Florida victims have
their passports and ID
documents
confiscated
Victims told that
perpetrators have
special relationship
with local ICE officer
2010 Manuel Case (Boca Raton)
Victims rescued when
found begging for food
outside a Catholic Church
Attorney General Bill
McCollum opens case as
wage and hour violation
Federal case follows, but
only after several years
Trafficking Victims
Protection Act of 2000
(TVPA)
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Legislative Intent of TVPA
Prevent HT overseas and within US
Protect & help victims to rebuild
their lives
Prosecute traffickers with
enhanced criminal penalties
TVPA Background
Meant to counter emerging trends
in human trafficking nationwide
Meant to legislatively respond to
1988 Kozminski Supreme Court
decision (holding that slavery
cases required showing of force or
threat of force).
TVPA = Victim-Centered Law
Trafficking victims, even if in U.S.
illegally, viewed as crime victims.
Programs created to assist victims
including immigration remedies.
Benefits afforded refugees given to
HT victims willing to assist in
prosecution.
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Human Trafficking Defined
In U.S. law, human trafficking is
now defined as criminal acts of
involuntary labor or commercial
sexual exploitation that are
induced through force, fraud, or
coercion
Similar to the definition under
international law (U.N. Protocol)
Elements of Trafficking
Force—physical violence such as
beatings, rape, shootings, starvation, or
confinement
Fraud—can include false or deceptive
offers of employment, marriage, or a
better life
Coercion can include
• Threats of serious harm to the victim,
the victim’s family, or another person
• Document confiscation
• Threats of deportation)
Physical Force Not Required
Physical force is no longer
required
Showing of fraud or psychological
coercion now suffices
Prosecutors now have new tools to
prove up slavery in U.S. courts
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TVPA Victim Protections
Enable trafficking victims to:
Obtain medical care, witness
protection, housing assistance, other
social services
Obtain civil remedies for financial
losses
Sue traffickers for punitive damages
New Immigration Remedy
“T” trafficking visa created by
Congress to give victims
temporary legal status
Victims must be willing to
participate in law enforcement
investigation
The Collaborative Approach
The anti-trafficking movement in the
United States is made up of a unique
partnership:
1) Law enforcement & prosecutors
2) Non-governmental service
providers
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DOJ-Funded HT Task Forces
Florida
Anti-Trafficking Statutes
State Anti-trafficking Statutes
The past decade has witnessed the
growing passage of state antitrafficking laws nationwide
In spring 2013 Wyoming became
the 50th state to enact human
trafficking laws
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Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
Florida enacted its first antitrafficking statutes in 2004 and has
added to them substantially
2012 “Bondi Bill” greatly enhanced
Florida criminal sanctions for
trafficking
Bills pass Florida Legislature
unanimously
Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
Florida’s Criminal Code now
defines and describes human
trafficking offenses in one section
of state law (787.06)
All trafficking offenses are now 1st
degree felonies (up to 30 years
imprisonment) and Level 8-10
Sentencing
Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
Using Coercion for labor or
services is a 1st Degree Felony
(787.06(3)(a))
Using Coercion for commercial
sexual activity is a 1st Degree
Felony (787.06(3)(b))
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Coercion Defined
(787.06(2)(a))
Use or threat of physical force
Restraining or isolating a victim
Use of debt servitude (where value
of labor not reasonably applied
toward a debt, or length & nature
of labor not limited and defined)
Coercion Defined
(787.06(2)(a))
Destroying or confiscating
immigration or identification
documents (either actual or
purported)
Causing or threatening financial
harm
Coercion Defined
(787.06(2)(a))
Enticing or Luring a person by
fraud or deceit
Providing a controlled substance
to someone for purpose of
exploiting them
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Coercion for Prostitution
(769.09(3))
Blackmail
Threat to interfere with parental rts
Exploiting developmental disability
Exploiting pornographic
performance
Exploiting human needs for food,
shelter, safety, or affection
New Burden of Proof
Anyone who knowingly or in
reckless disregard of the facts
engages in or benefits financially
by receiving anything of value from
trafficking can be prosecuted
(787.06)
Requirement that coercion be
demonstrated in sex trafficking of
minors now eliminated
Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
All human trafficking offenses can
be prosecuted as RICO offenses in
Florida (as organized crime)
(895.02)
Office of the Statewide Prosecutor
given explicit jurisdiction over
trafficking cases (16.56)
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Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
Interception of wire, oral, and
electronic communications of
suspected traffickers authorized
(934.07)
Definition of “commercial sexual
activity” expanded to include
production of pornography and
sexually explicit performances
(787.06(2)(i))
Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
Florida labor trafficking victims
can sue their traffickers for 3x their
financial damages (772.104)
Florida sex trafficking victims can
sue their traffickers for 3x the
profits made by their pimps
(772.104)
Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
Asset forfeiture expanded: any real or
personal property used in a human
trafficking scheme can be seized by
state
Convicted sex traffickers now required
to register as sex offenders
For first time Florida law makes explicit
reference to domestic U.S. citizen
victims of human trafficking
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Florida Safe Harbor Law (2012)
409.1678
Establishes that the dependency track
rather than the delinquency track will be
the standard approach in dealing with
minors found to be engaged in commercial
sex (domestic minor sex trafficking
victims)
Gives law enforcement the option (strongly
encouraged!) of referring minors to DCF
safe harbor facilities (with 24 hour
supervision) instead of detention facilities
Florida Safe Harbor Law (2012)
409.1678
Follows the logic that a child who
cannot consent to sex cannot
consent to commercial sex
Meant to sever the trauma bond
between the child and a pimp
DCF tasked with meeting the
service needs of sexually exploited
children
Florida Safe Harbor Law (2012)
409.1678
Raises solicitation fine in Florida to
$5,000 (796.07(6))
First $500 will pay for drug treatment
program costs and remaining $4,500
will be used to fund safe harbor
shelters
Law meant to both fund victim care and
address demand side of prostitution
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Florida Anti-trafficking Statutes
Victims can now expunge criminal
history incurred as a result of
human trafficking (943.0583)
Do so with the court of original
jurisdiction over their crime
Expunctions deemed to be vacated
due to substantive defect in
underlying criminal proceedings
2014 Legislation
HB 7141
Creates new 409.1754 to implement
Safe Harbor Law
Calls for DCF to employ screening
& assessment instruments to
determine appropriate services for
sexually exploited children
2014 Legislation
HB 7141
Provides certification requirements
for safe houses and safe foster
homes
Requires holistic trauma-informed
care for minor victims
Creates Statewide Council on
Human Trafficking under the Office
of the Attorney General
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What Florida Still Lacks
Private right of action (ability to
sue traffickers for punitive
damages)
Communication Privilege for antitrafficking caseworkers
Required ongoing training for LE &
prosecutors
Questions?
Thank You!
Professor Terry Coonan, J.D.
Florida State University
Center for the Advancement of Human Rights
[email protected]
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