Three accused in human trafficking case to stand trial

ST JAMES, Jamaica -The three individuals accused of forcing two females to engage in lewd activities almost four years ago are slated to go on trial in July on charges of human trafficking.

Ionie Ricketts, 45, of New Ramble, Bogue is charged with human trafficking, while Lisa-Shay Whyte, 22, of the same address, is charged with facilitating human trafficking.

Jerome Murray, Ricketts' alleged boyfriend, is also charged with facilitating human trafficking.

The matter was called up in the St. James Circuit Court on Thursday before presiding High Court Justice Andrea Thomas.

The Crown counsel, who has conducted the case, informed the court via video link that the crown was ready to proceed, and attorney-at-law Michael Hemmings, who represents the trio, requested a July 3 trial date.

Justice Thomas then scheduled the case for trial on July 3, and the three defendants’ bails were extended.

According to the prosecution’s case file, the incident took place on April 26, 2019.

The two complainants, both of whom were over the age of 18, were reportedly walking along a road in St James, when they were pursued by the two accused women.

One of the complainants managed to escape, but the other was captured, placed inside of a motorcar, and driven away.

Family members of the captured female reported her missing and requested the assistance of the other complainant in locating her.

On May 4, the police were called to Ricketts' home in New Ramble, where Murray was seen. The officers detained him and took him to the police station, where he called Ricketts and asked her to come to the station.

When Ricketts got to the station, she informed the cops that she knew the whereabouts of the complainant who had gone missing. She then contacted Whyte, who informed her that she and the missing girl were in Cambridge. Whyte and the missing complainant eventually arrived at the station.

The two young females were interviewed at the station, and it was discovered that the three accused were exploiting them. The three defendants were arrested and charged.

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