Trafficker who recruited young victim over Facebook sentenced

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Trafficker who recruited young victim over Facebook sentenced

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — An accused trafficker was sentenced in the Home Circuit Court on July 31 for trafficking and living on the earnings of prostitution of a young girl.

The man, Devon Scott, was sentenced to nine years and five months' imprisonment at hard labour for the offence of Trafficking in Persons, and 12 months' imprisonment at hard labour for the offence of Living on the Earnings of Prostitution. Both sentences will run concurrently, meaning that he will spend nine years and five months in prison.
He was also ordered by the court to pay a sum in restitution to the victim within a period of six months.

The trial before Justice Georgiana Fraser began on February 3, and ended on June 19. Scott had been charged on an indictment containing three counts — two counts of Trafficking in Persons relating to two victims pursuant to the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Suppression and Punishment) Act, and one count of Living on the Earnings of Prostitution pursuant to the Sexual Offences Act.
He was found guilty by the judge alone for the offences of Trafficking in Persons of one of the victims and Living on the Earnings of Prostitution.

The facts outlined by the prosecution were that the accused operated a business of sorts, in which he was assisted by his baby mother. In 2016, the victim and another girl were recruited by the accused and his baby mother over Facebook under the guise of their engagement in promotional dancing.

Both young women were from rural Jamaica and were not familiar with Kingston and St Andrew. At the time, one girl was 16 years old and the victim was 18.

In 2016, the accused and his baby mother met the young victim in person at a plaza in Spanish Town and the victim was driven to premises in Kingston 10 where Scott resided and operated his business. Upon arrival at his house, the victim observed several other young girls there and she was given a room for herself.

According to the evidence, Scott told the victim that the other girls at his house did promotional dancing at bars and other 'business' on the side — which meant they had sex with men for money. The trafficker and his baby mother purchased skimpy outfits for the girls and the victim that, from the evidence, were intended to attract male attention.

Scott informed the victim of the monetary arrangements for sexual engagement with men. He also told the victim that half of the money made would go to the victim and the other half would go to him.

From April to July 2016, men paid the accused to have sex with the victim. These men would, on occasion, visit the accused's house to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim and other girls.

The victim would also on occasion do 'out-call' services where she would leave the house, along with the accused and his baby mother, and visit men at a place of their choice to engage in sexual intercourse. At all times, the accused was in charge of making these arrangements between the men and the girls.

The victim gave evidence at trial that she was tricked into leaving her home, based on the belief that she was being hired as a promotional dancer, but instead, was lured into being a sex worker upon her arrival at the premises located in Kingston 10. She had sex with men two times daily, seven days of the week. There were occasions, however, when the victim went to places to dance and had received three-quarters of the money charged for dancing and the accused received the remaining quarter.

The prosecution called seven witnesses. Throughout the trial, the evidence of all witnesses placed the accused in the driver's seat of this operation, and the court found this to be true. The court also found that the accused's baby mother played an equal role as the accused.

The court found that the evidence established that the victim was exploited through prostitution.

Scott stoutly denied the claims during his sworn testimony at the trial and his defence was that he was framed by his baby mother.

In 2016, the Justice Ministry first reported that lawmen visited a bar in Kingston after receiving reports of exotic dancing, human trafficking and other sexual activities.

Three females including a sixteen year-old minor were rescued by the police and were deemed to be victims of human trafficking after being processed.
The vehicle that was used to transport the females was also seized by the police and became the subject of an asset forfeiture and money laundering investigation.

Scott was then listed as a 41-year-old farmer.

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