Of the recent sex trafficking convictions in Milwaukee, a human trafficking specialist says the case of Jermaine Rogers this month stands out. He ran a stable of prostitutes using coercion and manipulation. Unlike similar cases which have been handled in federal court, Rogers was tried in state court under a law that went into effect in 2008.
“This was the first one (conviction) using the Wisconsin state law so we’re very encouraged by that,” says Marianna Smirnova of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Meanwhile at least two recent federal cases in Milwaukee have involved accusations of pimping underage girls. In July, Todd “King Tut” Carter was convicted after admitting to pimping teenage girls in Wisconsin and other states. Derrick Avery aka “Pimp Snooky” has been charged for allegedly prostituting girls as young as 14.
Smirnova says cases involving underage girls make their way to court because they are easier to prosecute. The question of consent is not a factor as with adult victims.
She says the problem extends beyond Milwaukee to Madison and into rural areas of the state.
WCASA is among groups organizing a film festival on UW-Madison campus Saturday. Films tackling the issue of human trafficking, from sugar production to the sex trade, will be shown.