A major sex trafficking ring was recently busted in the United States. Women from Asia were purchased by sex trafficking runners, and were trafficked in a triangle around Austin between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. As a result, federal charges have been filed against 17 individuals.
The guilt or innocence of those charged has not yet been established. Unfortunately, though, sometimes innocent people wind up as victims of a sex trafficking bust, and find themselves facing federal charges. Conviction can carry a multi-year, and sometimes decades-long prison sentence. For those who have been accused, it is important to have the best legal defense possible. Here are two possible defenses against sex trafficking charges:
Affirmative defense. This is a common and successful defense in sting operations. Sometimes, an individual is coerced, compelled or sometimes forced to swap financial means for sexual acts from human sex slaves. People who are acting under duress, such as when threatened with bodily harm or death, are excused from performing criminal actions.
Ignorance. Sometimes people running legitimate businesses transport criminals and sexual slaves unknowingly. When the entire ring is busted, an innocent person could be arrested for being in the wrong place at the wrong place. Even people who are actively engaged with the sexual slaves may not be aware that the other person is a victim of human trafficking. It is important to make sure that people who are unaware that a crime is taking place are not unjustly punished. For people who are innocent bystanders, having a high-quality legal team is essential to proving innocence.
A conviction for human sex trafficking can ruin a person's life. In addition to extensive prison time, people who have been convicted will often be unable to find a steady job and will be barred from living in certain communities. The social stigma that comes with a conviction for a sex crime is unparalleled. People's entire social worlds can evaporate in a heartbeat. Ultimately, the best advice for those charged with sex trafficking is to hire a legal professional for help.