For the majority of those requiring a Fort Lauderdale sex crimes defense, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Fort Lauderdale sex crimes defense lawyers know that you are likely at some point to be released from prison even if convicted.
However, when your alleged crimes involve multiple children, the task becomes more challenging.
That was what happened for Oakland Park’s “Boom Boom Room” owner/operator, who was sentenced to life in federal prison for the sex trafficking of minors, as well as production of child pornography. In addition, his girlfriend has also been sentenced to 13 years for sex trafficking of a minor.
Cases such as these can prove highly challenging for defense lawyers. But a skilled defense attorney knows that in looking at it from all angles, you have potentially unreliable witnesses (either due to age, intoxication or some other factor), as well as the fact that one person may be targeted for the alleged crimes of several others.
Each case is different.
Here’s what we know of this case, based on media reports and court testimony:
The 35-year-old defendant was accused of recruiting at least eight young females between the ages of 13 and 17 to dance for and have sexual intercourse with customers.
In “vetting” the potential teen prostitutes, he reportedly had them fill out applications and subsequently coerced them into having sex with him. According to the girls, they gave him their correct date of birth on their applications, though he told them not to reveal that information to their customers.
From his home-run brothel, he would let customers know he was open by flashing a green light on his porch and inviting potential clients to what he called “parties.” He also sent out mass text messages to potential clients, affixing photographs of the underage girls engaged in sex acts.
His home was advertised as both “Lot 29” and “The Boom Boom Room.”
There doesn’t seem to be any indication from the testimony that any of the girls were forced into these sex acts. Many were teen runaways, and the defendant and his wife sheltered and fed many of them.
But by virtue of the fact that they were underage, the acts are considered criminal. While this case was prosecuted at the federal level, there are a number of Florida statutes that deal specifically with sex trafficking. Florida statute 787.06 prohibits human trafficking in general. If you are involved in the sex trafficking of an adult, under Florida statute 796.05, that’s considered a second-degree felony. Sex trafficking of a minor in Florida, however, is considered a first-degree felony. That’s on par with murder.
And while adult victims of sex trafficking have to prove there was some form of force or coercion, child sex trafficking victims do not.
In all, this defendant was convicted of eight counts of child sex trafficking, one count of producing child pornography (because of the photographs attached to the mass text messages) and one count of conspiring to commit child sex trafficking. He was sentenced to life in prison, plus another 30 years.
It did not assist the defendant’s case that he had previously been convicted of drug charges, possession of a gun by a felon and armed robbery.
Because these crimes are so serious in nature, investing in an experienced criminal defense attorney is going to afford you the best possible shot at freedom.