THE JAMMED TRUE STORIES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING BLOG
The aim of this blog is to uncover and present
Following on from the feature film THE JAMMED we intend to select a series of stories from those posted on this blog, and produce a dramatised series of short stories
THE JAMMED is a feature film inspired by court transcripts about sex slavery and deportation in
This is a call for your stories.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
She had a baby at 14
Teen details human trafficking, prostitution
BY RON SYLVESTER
The Wichita Eagle
She had a baby at 14, fathered by a man in his 30s.
At 15, she ran away, and met another man who she said took her from Wichita to Dallas and put her on the streets as a prostitute.
Now 16, the girl took the witness stand Tuesday and pointed to Marlin Williams as the man she knew by the nickname "Pressure." She said she gave him the money she earned for having sex with strangers.
Williams, 38, so vehemently denied the charge against him that he had to be escorted out of court during jury selection for shouting at Sedgwick County District Judge Clark Owens.
The five women and seven men selected for the jury are hearing the first case of human trafficking filed in Sedgwick County under a provision of Jessica's Law, which last year increased punishment for most sex offenses against children and teens. It also added the new crime of human trafficking, which carries a penalty of 12 to 44 years in prison for people who "recruit, harbor or transport" minors to engage in sex.
Lawyer Brad Sylvester, who represents Williams, argued to the judge that under this law a father could be charged with a crime for driving his daughter to a school dance, if he knew she might have sex with her boyfriend afterward.
Sylvester told the jury all Williams did was drive.
The girl said he did more.
She is not being named because The Eagle has a policy of not naming victims of alleged sex crimes.
Williams gave her eight condoms, a price list for sexual favors and told her "don't come back with less than $400," the girl told prosecutor Christine Ladner.
She said she'd run away from her family after the 33-year-old father of her child went to jail for having sex with her as a minor.
She also ran away from the Wichita Children's Home and ended up living with a woman who couldn't pay her bills, the teen testified.
"That's what it's like being on the run," she said. "You never know where you're going to end up next."
The girl said she met Williams through the woman she lived with. She told him she was 17, but she was really 15.
Williams drove her and another girl to Dallas, the girl testified, not even letting her pick up her clothes on the way out of town.
"He told me he would buy me new things," she said.
The girl said they drove to Dallas that same night and within two hours she was working the streets.
"He bought me a pair of shoes," she said.
Sylvester, Williams' lawyer, told the jury in his opening statements that the girl met other prostitutes once she reached Dallas. Sylvester said that when police found her and questioned her, she pointed to Williams because she was afraid of the people who really were behind her prostitution.
As the girl's testimony continues today, Sylvester said, he plans to cross-examine her about her MySpace page -- a Web site on which he claims she still advertises herself as a prostitute.
Reach Ron Sylvester at 316-268-6514 or firstname.lastname@example.org.