Article link: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/alabama-defendant-convicted-sex-trafficking-and-offenses-tied-scheme-compel-victims-including (Links to an external site.)
2. In this case, an individual in Alabama has been convicted of sex trafficking as well as schemes to compel victims including minors to engage in prostitution over the course of several years. Mitchell (the defendant) was found guilty of sex trafficking by force, deception, and coercion of five victims by a jury. Mitchell was also found guilty of sex trafficking a minor and three counts of coercing and persuading a person to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution purposes by the jury (The Department of Justice, 2022). The defendant targeted vulnerable individuals who struggled with drug addiction and used that to manipulate them for his own benefit with the help of two other defendants; one of which was his sister. Although Mitchell has been convicted his co-dependents are awaiting sentencing.
3. Human trafficking isn’t a topic that isn’t talked much about, it is something that we all need to be aware of. Though all genders and ages are susceptible to being a victim, women, and children are overrepresented and are more vulnerable to exploration. This case and many others show us how young women/ girls are being persuaded and or having their vulnerability used against them without knowing what it would lead to. It’s important for women and young girls to see how people will use anything against them and make them feel as if they are left with no choice but to do what they say in order to “survive”.
4. In chapter one of our textbook, under the Protocol to Prevent, the United Nations defined human trafficking as “A recruitment transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability…exploitation” (Busch-Armendariz et al., 2018, p.13) It then proceeds to give examples of force, fraud, and coercion. Mitchell boosted the victims’ heroin consumption and urged them to inject it. If they broke one of his numerous controlling rules or did not see enough commercial sex clients he wouldn’t give them heroin. Other repercussions for disobeying his orders or failing to give him enough money from prostitution included assault, threats of violence, and threats to reveal humiliating information, images, or videos to the victims’ loved ones. Furthermore, as part of his coercive plot to control the victims, Mitchell limited the portion of food the victims could consume and when they could eat, as well as confiscating their identification papers and credit cards. Chapter three briefly talks about facilitators and how often times family members can be one, in regard to the case Mitchell’s sister was aware of what he was doing to the victims but yet she harbored them and received the proceeds from the victims involved in commercial sex.