CAPE CORAL, FL (November 5, 2019) – Fox4now.com writes that two people arrested for human trafficking in 2017 have now been sentenced. The case took place at a Cape Coral Taco Bell, where the woman would identify victims through her job managing the fast-food restaurant. The couple targeted teenage girls whom the woman would introduce to the man.
One of the victims came forward and reported the crimes to the police leading to the arrests.
Reports indicate that the couple would tell the girls that they could make a lot of money as a way to lure them in. The couple abducted one girl and drove her to a location under a bridge where they sexually assaulted her. In another instance, they threatened a girl with a gun before robbing her of $2,000.
The female suspect received a sentence of six years in prison and nine years of probation while the male suspect was given a fifteen-year sentence with ten years of probation.
Some in the community felt the sentencing was too lenient. Prosecutors stated that they take these crimes very seriously and will continue to fight trafficking crimes in the state.
Human Trafficking Charges in Florida
Human trafficking is likened to modern slavery in that it involves the sale of a human being. In most cases, the victim is sold for sexual exploitation or to serve as forced labor.
A defendant can be convicted of human trafficking if he or she engaged in the transport, recruitment, harboring, soliciting or obtaining a person for transport knowing that the victim would be forced into labor or prostitution, or if the defendant profited in any way from an endeavor that involved subjecting a person into forced service or labor.
There are several crimes related to the trafficking of humans. Bonded labor is a form of exploitation where a person is bound to work off a loan or service, but the terms of the agreement were not specified, and the amount and duration of the work are greater than the loan or services originally rendered.
Trafficking illegal workers is a violation of immigration law and involves the transportation of workers who are not documented or who are illegally in the country.
Sex trafficking cases often involve vulnerable women and children, such as teenage runaways, homeless people, drug addicts, or refugees. The perpetrator takes advantage of these vulnerable individuals and forces them to work in the sex industry or to perform other involuntary labor.
It is not uncommon for a person facing human trafficking charges to be charged with other crimes as well, such as conspiracy, fraud, coercion, and forgery. A person convicted of human trafficking can face decades of prison time, probation, and significant fines. These individuals may also end up registered sex offenders.
These cases are often highly complicated. Individuals accused of human trafficking need experienced legal advocates who can protect their rights and challenge the allegations.