MARICOPA COUNTY PROSECUTION WINS GUILTY VERDICT FOR BUYER IN 20 MINUTES
September 21, 2015 | By Taryn Offenbacher
Prosecutors in Phoenix are celebrating a major victory this week after securing a guilty verdict for a man convicted under Arizona’s “child prostitution” law for attempting to buy sex with a law enforcement officer who he believed to be a 16 year old girl. According to Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, this is the first jury verdict for this type of operation in Arizona.
The case of Paul Daniel Wagner, which was prosecuted by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will have statewide impact as the jury’s verdict clarifies that trying to buy sex with a minor, or someone posing as a minor, is a serious crime.
As Shared Hope’s Protected Innocence Challenge report card for Arizona shows, Arizona has strong laws to combat demand for commercial sex with minors, a driving force behind the sex trafficking industry. However, bringing buyers to justice is a resource-intensive and challenging task. A primary challenge in combatting demand has been the growth of online exploitation of juvenile sex trafficking victims which allows both traffickers and buyers to remain anonymous and avoid detection by law enforcement.
In recent years, Phoenix-area law enforcement have led efforts to tackle demand through online sting operations and as a result, the area has seen a substantial increase in the identification and arrest of offenders seeking to pay for sex with a minor. When Shared Hope conducted an assessment of Arizona’s response to sex trafficking in 2010, research showed that only five of the 87 cases prosecuted under the “child prostitution” law since 2006 had involved buyers. In contrast, when Shared Hope conducted an assessment of anti-demand enforcement in Arizona in 2015, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office had commenced 89 prosecutions of buyers under the child prostitution law since December 2013.
Nevertheless, prosecution of buyers arrested during sting operations has presented its own set of challenges. In Shared Hope’s 2015 research, Demanding Justice Arizona, online sting operations served as the primary method of identifying buyers in the greater Phoenix region but one of the concerns to this approach was whether judges and juries would treat these cases as seriously as cases involving actual victims—particularly when offenders identified through sting operations were attempting to buy sex with a minor older than 15.
The jury verdict finding Paul Daniel Wagner guilty of a Class 2 felony for attempting to buy sex with a law enforcement officer who he believed to be a 16 year old girl indicates a rising intolerance for this crime. This case reflects the growing understanding that buyers of sex with minors—including those who target older minors—are not just guys who “made a mistake” or were “entrapped” but instead are serious offenders deserving of serious penalties.
Case dropped: Woman charged with human trafficking was really a victim
A judge on Wednesday dismissed human trafficking and prostitution charges against a woman, formerly of South Carolina, after prosecutors determined she was actually a victim in the scheme to transport teen girls to Birmingham and force them into sexual servitude.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Stephen Wallace dismissed two counts of human trafficking and two counts of promoting prostitution against 20-year-old Veronica Melvin.
Melvin had been charged with a South Carolina man, Jermaine Williams, after their arrest in 2013. The arrests were part of the FBI’s nationwide crackdown – Operation Cross Country – on child sex trafficking. Three juveniles, ages 13 to 17, were rescued in the Birmingham area during the sweep. The girls were being advertised on Backpage.com as ‘Barbie Dolls’.
“It became very clear during the investigation of this case that Veronica Melvin was a sex trafficking victim of Jermaine Williams,” Kistler stated in an email to AL.com on Thursday. “Our office, along with the law enforcement agencies who worked this case, agreed that justice required dropping her charges.”
“This case exemplifies that human trafficking exists, and that it is happening right here in our own community,” Kistler. “Victims of these cases suffer from the deprivation of one of the most important human rights afforded to us: the right to freedom. Human trafficking victims already have so much to fear from the predators who abuse them and exploit them for profit – they should not have to fear prosecution as well.”
Melvin’s attorney, David Luker, said it was a very complicated case and that he and his client are very satisfied with the outcome. “It was as a result of the district attorneys good judgment and willingness to analyze case that we were able to reach a fair and reasonable outcome,” he said.
Jermaine Williams entered a guilty plea in July to two Human Trafficking charges and was sentenced, per an agreement with prosecutors, to a 20-year sentence. According to the department of corrections, he will serve at least 85 percent before he is even eligible for parole, Kistler said.
These pictures tell a story about me, and it ain’t pretty. The first begins a photo session, about which I am less than thrilled. I know what is coming next. I loose every last thread of my human dignity. And for some reason, my dignity was important to me. The second photo is small and fussy, because it is just a test print. The pictures are moving in a direction not fit for public consumption. But if I close my eyes I remember just a peek or two. A male model, from the William Mortensen Studio in Laguna Beach, California, has joined my side of the camera, under the blazing hot lights. We form a picture perfect couple, me with my fair Nordic looks, him with his Mediterranean chiseled features and dark hair; me five years old, him twenty-two. Now the photos get arty as body parts meet body parts in erotica. (Such as the tip of my tongue meets his erect penis.) So much child pornography, we compete for our share of a very crowded market. It’s good practice for me, as I am about to move into the even more demanding arena of child sex trafficking and black mail. The Nazis that controlled my life had big plans for me. I was about to meet the rich and famous
This is done to gain the child’s trust as well as the trust of those responsible for the child’s well-being. Additionally, a trusting relationship with the family means the child’s parents are less likely to believe potential accusations.
In the case of sexual grooming, child pornography images are often shown to the child as part of the grooming process.
To establish a good relationship with the child and the child’s family, child groomers might do several things. For example, they might take an undue interest in someone else’s child, to be the child’s “special” friend to gain the child’s trust. They might give gifts or money to the child for no apparent reason. They may show pornography—videos or pictures—to the child, hoping to make it easy for the child to accept such acts, thus normalizing the behavior. They may simply talk about sexual topics. These are just some of the methods a child groomer might use to gain a child’s trust and affection to allow them to do what they want. Hugging and kissing or other physical contact, even when the child does not want it, can happen. To the groomer, this is a way to get close.[dubious – discuss] They might talk about problems normally discussed between adults, or at least people of the same age. Topics might include marital problems and other conflicts. They may try to gain the child’s parents’ trust by befriending them, with the goal of easy access to the child. The child groomer might look for opportunities to have time alone with the child. This can be done by offering to babysit. The groomer may invite the child for sleepovers. This gives them the opportunity to sleep in the same room or even the same bed with the child.
Actions such as online communication have been defended by suspected offenders using the so-called ‘fantasy defense’, in which those accused argue that they were only expressing fantasies and not plans of future behavior. In the U.S., case law draws a distinction between those two and some people accused of ‘grooming’ have successfully used this defense.
over the internet grooming
Sexual grooming of children also occurs on the Internet. Some abusers will pose as children online and make arrangements to meet with them in person. Facebook has been involved in controversy as to whether or not it takes enough precautions. Jim Gamble, leader of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) of the United Kingdom, stated in April 2010 that his office received 292 complaints about Facebook users through the year of 2009 yet “None of these complaints came direct from Facebook.” A spokesman for Facebook responded to complaints by meeting Ceop directly in person, and saying, adamantly, “We take the issue of safety very seriously.”
In 2003, MSN implemented restrictions in their chat rooms purportedly intended to help protect children from adults seeking sexual conversations with them. In 2005, Yahoo! chat rooms were investigated by the New York State attorney general’s office for allowing users to create rooms whose names suggested that they were being used for this purpose. That October, Yahoo! agreed to “implement policies and procedures designed to ensure” that such rooms would not be allowed.
Some vigilante organizations use operatives posing as underage teens on the internet to identify potential child molesters and turn the information over to the police and the courts. The news program Dateline NBC features the recurring segment “To Catch a Predator”, based on documenting such activities.
Multiple computer programs have been developed to help identify grooming and warn parents. Such software analyzes chat room and other Instant messaging logs for activity that may identify grooming or other potentially suspicious activities. Some of the technologies have been adapted to social networking services and ISPs
Sexual grooming of children over the internet is most prevalent (99% of cases) amongst the 13–17 age group, particularly the 13–14 years old children (48%). The majority of them are girls. The majority of the victimization occurs over the mobile phone support. Children and teenagers with behavioral issues such as higher attention seekers have a much higher risk than others.
In the United States, 18 U.S.C. § 2422 makes it a federal offense to use the mail, interstate commerce, etc. to entice a minor to sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense. 18 U.S.C. § 2425 makes it a federal offense to transmit information about a person below the age of 16 for this purpose. Some states have additional statutes covering seducing a child online, such as the Florida law that makes “Use of a Computer to Seduce a Child” a felony.
Laws focused on ‘grooming’ were first enforced federally against Alabaman Jerry Alan Penton in 2009. Penton received 20 years in prison for that action coupled with another 20 for his distribution and possession of child pornography. He was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison on a variety of charges relating to child pornography
Bad parenting made young white girls an easy target for ‘grotesque’ exploitation at the hands of Asian sex gangs, says Judge
Girl and a second victim were repeatedly raped on ‘an almost daily basis’
Six men guilty of grooming, drugging and abusing children in Aylesbury
Judge jails them for 82 years for targeting vulnerable white girls
He said: ‘If they pursued Asian under-age girls, they would have paid a heavy price in their community’
By MARTIN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 09:09 EST, 7 September 2015 | UPDATED: 04:31 EST, 8 September 2015
Poor parenting may have helped push vulnerable under-age white girls into the hands of Asian sex gangs, one of Britain’s most senior judges has said.
Judge John Bevan spoke out as he jailed six members of a paedophile ring for a total of 82 years for grooming and raping white girls because of their six year campaign of ‘grotesque’ abuse.
The men targeted vulnerable children in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire for sex secured with ‘the price of a McDonald’s, a milkshake and a cinema ticket’, the Old Bailey heard.
Vikram Singh, Asif Hussain, Arshad Jani, Mohammed Imran, Akbari Khan and Taimoor Khan were jailed for between three years and 19-and-a-half years.
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Gang members: Today Vikram Singh, Asif Hussain and Arshad Jani (left to right) were jailed for abusing children in Aylesbury
Abusers: Mohammed Imran, Akbari Khan and Taimoor Khan (left to right) were each jailed for up to 19 years at the Old Bailey
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Judge John Bevan said poor parental supervision of the children made the victims into easy targets.
Mr Justice Bevan added the men, of Indian and Pakistani descent, may have targeted white girls because ‘if they pursued Asian girls they would have paid a heavy price in their community.’
The abuse between from 2006 and 2012 included multiple rapes of a child under 13, child prostitution and administering a substance to ‘stupefy’ a girl in order to engage in sexual activity.
VICTIM SUING COUNCIL AFTER SOCIAL WORKERS FAILED TO PROTECT HER AND FRIENDS
After the sex gang was jailed today it emerged that one victim, known only as child B, is suing Buckinghamshire County Council for negligence resulting in the unnecessary suffering of the victims.
In a statement the woman, who had been in care, said that ‘no sentence could ever put right what happened’.
But she said: ‘It’s an opportunity for all of us to say to the Government and to social services, whose job it is to protect vulnerable people, that it is time to sit down and listen to our experiences, and I mean actually listen and reflect on what is happening in this country.
‘This would go a long way in helping them to be able to understand the problems that exist, to enable them to prevent things like this from happening to others in the future.’
Her solicitor Alan Collins added: ‘It is without doubt that if social services had done more to protect the victims and spotted the crucial signs that something was wrong, we wouldn’t be here today.
‘However, the sentencing of these individuals does not make up for the failings. As a consequence, we will now be taking legal action against Buckinghamshire County Council for their negligence in this case which resulted in the unnecessary suffering of these victims.’
Javed Khan, chief executive of the charity Barnardo’s which has supported the victims, said: ‘These sentences send out an important message: abusers will pay for their actions. Their crimes have had a devastating impact on their victims.
‘We will continue to work with Thames Valley Police, Buckinghamshire County Council and our other partners to stamp out this terrible crime, by raising awareness of the signs a child or young person is being sexually exploited, and supporting victims.’
Most of the offences related to child A, who was present in court to see the men who robbed her of her teenage years jailed.
In a statement, she told of her feelings of ‘worthlessness’ as she battled depression and alcohol addiction, adding: ‘I feel my teenage years were taken away from me.’
Sentencing, judge John Bevan QC paid tribute to her bravery in laying bare her life ‘warts and all’ and said the way some of the defendants took advantage of her vulnerability was ‘grotesque’.
He said: ‘She sought friendship amongst Asian males in their 20s and for the price of a McDonald’s, a milkshake and cinema ticket, she became ‘liked’ by stall holders in Aylesbury market, taxi and bus drivers.
‘By the age of 13 she was sexually experienced, confusing sexual gratification for friendship and love.’
By the time she was 16, the girl had been abused by just under 70 men and her vulnerability should have been ‘blindingly obvious’, the judge said.
He went on: ‘Why these defendants focused their attention on white under-age girls is unexplained but I have no doubt vulnerability played a substantial part in it.
‘The combination of inadequate parenting leading to rebellious children lacking supervision provided an opportunity.
‘If they pursued Asian under-age girls, they would have paid a heavy price in their community.’
The two victims came from troubled backgrounds and wanted to feel grown-up when they were befriended by the men, who groomed them by showering them with inexpensive gifts such as alcohol, DVDs, food and occasionally drugs.
While aged just 12 or 13, child A was passed between some 60 mainly Asian men for sex after being conditioned into thinking it was normal behaviour, jurors were told.
The vast majority of the charges related to this child, while three charges related to girl B.
During the trial, prosecutor Oliver Saxby QC told the jury the youngsters were ‘easy prey for a group of men wanting casual sexual gratification that was easy, regular and readily available’.
He said the girls’ ideas of what was right had been ‘completely distorted’, and that they thought what was happening was ‘normal’ and ‘natural’.
Many of the defendants were friends from the Aylesbury area. Some were married and had children, with some working on the market and a few working as taxi drivers.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3225226/Six-members-Asian-child-sex-abuse-gang-jailed-total-82-years-grooming-white-girls-sex-exchange-milkshake-McDonald-s.html#ixzz3lxVGXugx
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A bare 12 months into the police investigation into Rotherham child sex exploitation (CSE) allegations and one startling new fact has emerged: it may cost nearly £7m this year alone as it potentially becomes ‘the single largest CSE investigation ever undertaken in the UK’.
A new report has highlighted the National Crime Agency (NCA) Operation Stovewood as one of the key financial pressures on South Yorkshire Police. It also declined to nominate a date for the publication of its report.
The force is underwriting the investigation by the NCA into historic Rotherham child sexual exploitation offences in the wake of police failures in the town’s child grooming scandal.
The NCA said in June it had identified 300 potential suspects and was following up on 3,300 lines of enquiry in relation to allegations covering 1997 to 2013. This is the same period covered by the damning Jay report that found there were at least 1,400 victims of abuse.
At that stage, officials said the operation may last up to three years, at an annual cost of between £3m to £5m. But a study by the South Yorkshire Police commissioner’s finance officer suggests the outlay of the NCA investigation in 2015 ‘could cost approximately £6.9m’ under one option being examined.
It said: “Discussions are taking place with the NCA regarding the level of resourcing requested for the ongoing investigative work.”
As Breibart London has previously revealed, in a concurrent probe more than 160 police officers are under investigation Rotherham over allegations they systematically ignored complaints of widespread child sexual exploitation.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has already identified 60 officers as part of a major investigation into the scandal and 100 others are in their sights.
The watchdog is examining whether or not disciplinary or even legal action should be brought against police officers who are accused of ignoring victims’ claims that they were being sexually trafficked and abused.
The South Yorkshire finance report has suggested Operation Stovewood retains the scope to exceed any other now underway in the UK. These include Operation Pallial, looking into claims of sexual abuse in the care system in North Wales, which involves around 320 potential victims and the Met Police-run Operation Yewtree, an enquiry into alleged child sexual exploitation by the late Jimmy Savile and others.
It said: “As Operation Stovewood has progressed, it has become clear that it has the potential to be the single largest CSE investigation ever undertaken in the UK.”
A spokesman for the NCA said: “We provide the force with regular updates on the costs/future costs of the investigation for each phase/accounting period. The level of resources required is benchmarked against similar investigations conducted elsewhere and national best practice.
“The investigation is large and complex, and involves investigating criminal activity over a 16-year-period by both organised groups and individuals. Work to identify all victims of non-familial CSE in Rotherham, potentially 1,400 people, is ongoing. We have prioritised two specific investigations under Operation Stovewood at this point.
“Investigations are conducted to a professional standard and as quickly as possible. The speed of an investigation is therefore based on the level of resources available at any given time. The standards to which we work, in the interests of victims/survivors, suspects and the criminal justice system, are non-negotiable. We expect the investigation to take a number of years.”
Grooming is the slow process of breaking down someone until they are too vulnerable to seek help.They manipulate your thought processes while gaining your empathy removing all the red flags that beep at sign of danger. Grooming children can be done online or in person by strangers or people they know. They develop an emotional connection in order to gain trust. Many children have no idea they have been groomed or even abused. Most often they know they don’t like the abuse but never speak up. This is because they trust the abuser wouldn’t hurt them. They believe this abuse is how they show they love them. They share stories of their own abuse to bond.
Grooming is done through little things you need and you crave. When someone gives you attention you soak it up like a sponge. They buy you gifts making you feel special and loved. They offer up advice spinning it to make you feel best and blame someone else. They are very attentive which is what everyone wants . They take you places which can constitute love to a small child. This day and age most households have 2 working parents so the attention is lacking. A toddler does not understand the parents have to work to have a home,food and clothes. They only know no one seems to be there. All these things create a trusting bond.
You begin to defend them and make excuses or lie for them. The image that they care and are the only one there for you has been seeded. They nurture and grow the seed a little at a time. The victim tends to be vulnerable in some way whether it’s a hard time, a loss, insecure or lonely. They find your weakest spot and use that to convince you their abuse is yours or someone else’s fault. They isolate you leaving no signs for family and friends to pick up on until it’s too late. They play on things people say and do to convince you they are the only one who loves you and is there for you. It sounds so simple black and white when I write it but it’s subtle and only the aware or paranoid would catch it. Its done when your guard is down and your not looking for it.
The next phase is to exploit you. They isolate and create things making you feel like they are the only one. This creates a sole dependency that is so important. This means you won’t ride telling making them mad, sad or go away. On a scale they mean more than you don’t like the abuse. So you keep silent to protect the person. They now have control over you. They keep you silent thinking its normal. They convince you no one will believe you or you deserve it. Some tell the child you will be homeless. The other I hear most is I will be killed because they won’t understand our bond. Then I will never see you again. Secrets and blackmail are used against you.
The purpose of grooming is to get you to participate in your abuse, guilt you into silence and manipulate you into covering for them . This prolongs the abuse meanwhile if you lied you’ve created a big uphill mountain for you to climb to even have someone believe you. No one believes the troublemaker. When it comes to the taboo subject of abuse no one wants to hear about it. Therefore you try to forget as often as possible and hide it out of embarrassment and shame.
Grooming is hard to battle because we can’t tell the child what’s happening because then we are brainwashing or controlling. It can also make you look like the enemy or a jealous person. There is very little education taught at a level young children can understand. To convince them that someone bought you a gift to hurt you sounds far fetched as an adult. Waiting for them to see through it is not an option. Parents be aware and teach them beforehand. Make sure you know who your children are with at all times. Teach them good touch, bad touch. Be the kind of parent who parents but that your children know can come to for anything. Leave doors to communication open and flowing. Follow your gut feeling about someone and don’t blow it off as impossible. Do not overreact but watch, check and look into things. Research, awareness and believing our children will create a stronger wall to protect them. Please see : www.voices-amplified.com for more information Remember, together we can and will move mountains!
Slavery didn’t end
There are millions of people enslaved throughout the world today, most in plain sight. Through education, awareness and activism, we can end slavery in our lifetime.