Sex trafficking is a crime that refers to situations where victims have been forced to engage in sexual activities, usually for commercial purposes, by others who stand to profit from the sexual activity.
Because sex trafficking is basically human exploitation meaning the intent to force or forcing individuals into engaging in acts against their will, sex trafficking is often referred to as a modern-day form of slavery. If consent has not been given, or cannot be legally recognized as consent due to an individual’s age, they are being trafficked and exploited.
Sex trafficking shares some similarities with human trafficking:
The “age of consent” is the term that refers to the age that someone must be before they can legally consent to sex. In trafficking, the “age of consent” does not apply as no one will ever reach an age where their exploitation will be allowed under any U.S. law.
Additionally, a person living in the U.S. does not have to be a legally recognized citizen to be a trafficking victim; exploitation can happen to anyone.
While trafficking for labor can involve forcing individuals to work in service jobs such as cleaning, cooking, factory work, and crop harvesting, sex trafficking’s labor is forcing individuals to engage in commercial sex acts, including prostitution.
The people engaging in sex trafficking employ a variety of tactics:
An individual can be kidnapped and forced to work/engage in commercial sex acts under threat of physical and/or verbal abuse.
Victims can be lured into a situation where they can be kidnapped or forced into commercial sex acts, and their captors may employ lies and deceit to ensure servitude. For example, after forcing the individual to engage in commercial sex acts, they can shame the person into thinking no one would want them for what they did.
• Debt Bondage
Victims may be told they owe a debt to their captors that can only be paid off through participation in commercial sex acts, neglecting to mention the debt does not actually exist and that no amount of labor will ever be enough to cancel out the “debt.” This tactic can be especially potent against anyone already familiar with the concept of debt through legitimate banking operations.
Because of the exploitative and dangerous nature of sex trafficking, individuals accused of engaging in the crime of trafficking face, if convicted, very harsh penalties.
The state of Tennessee takes a hard line against the crime of sex trafficking. Tennessee statute 39-13-309 deals with the offense of sexual trafficking and it is a Class B felony. Class B felonies in Tennessee are punishable by imprisonment for a period of eight to 30 years, in addition to a fine of up to $25,000.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for an alleged sexual trafficking, you will need to work with David Clarke, a highly qualified Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Tennessee prosecutors do not take this type of crime lightly and will try to pursue the harshest possible penalties under the law. Without a strategic defense put into place, you could be risking your rights and freedom.
When facing the charges of sex trafficking, contact The Clarke Law Firm today, and let us help you with your defense.