23 Somalis on Trial in Tennessee for Sex Slavery
Twenty-three Somalis will go on trial this month in connection with operating a sex slavery ring that sold little girls into slavery in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nasvhille, Tennessee; and other cities.
According to the Tennessean, the trial will be unusual because all the defendants will appear before judge and jury at the same time. Agents from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency collared the 30 Africans in November 2010.
The paper reported,
In an era when limited resources and risk aversion have resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of cases that end in plea agreements rather than jury trials, not even one of the 30 defendants in the case has agreed to plead guilty, setting the stage for a massive trial in downtown Nashville that is raising a variety of issues both legal and logistical.
Though the media has not mentioned it, the defendants are almost certainly Muslims. Somalia is a Muslim country.
According to ICE, local, state, and federal police in Nashville, Minneapolis, and St. Paul locked up 29 Somalis "who were listed in a federal indictment which was unsealed listing various charges, including sex trafficking juveniles and conspiring to sex traffic juveniles, obstruction of justice, perjury, auto theft and credit card fraud....”
The indictment results from an investigation that began in 2008 and alleges that the defendants are involved in or are associates of the following gangs which are connected to one another: the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia, and the Lady Outlaws.
As well, ICE reported, "members and associates of the gangs transported underage Somali and African-American females from the Minneapolis area to Nashville for the purpose of having the females engage in sex acts for money and other items of value.”
Some of the girls were 13 years old or younger, the indictment alleged. (...)