Four Mississauga, Ontario men were sentenced to 15 years to life in a Canadian court on Thursday for their roles in a human trafficking conspiracy. The sentencing reflects the lengths to which the men went to exploit women for their own financial gain, and the lengths that the Ontario Provincial Police went to investigate their involvement in human trafficking. The Crown Attorney in the case was Elizabeth Bond, Esq.

On March 30, 2017, a court in the United States found the people who are involved in human trafficking are not human. The 15-year prison sentence is an example of the United States government’s resolve to fight back against the organized crime of human trafficking. Business Insider described the sentencing of the bankers as “a big win for the anti-human-trafficking movement.”

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Victim says he/she wants a better future

SAN LOUIS OBISPO – San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Doe announced Friday, May 21, that Lucion Lee Edwards Banks (born 3/29/83) of Sacramento has been sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison for the human trafficking of a 14-year-old girl in San Luis Obispo County.

The 15th. In March, a San Luis Obispo County jury found Banks, 38, guilty of trafficking a 14-year-old victim by means of force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, force, duress, threat or threat of unlawful injury.

The conviction was the result of a routine traffic stop by Quentin Rouse, police officer in San Luis Obispo, who quickly discovered evidence that Banks was involved in trafficking a young victim for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Honorable Judge Barry T. LaBarbera sentenced Banks to 15 years to life in state prison. In addition, Banks must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The young victim, identified in court as Jane Doe, was present at the sentencing and gave a powerful account of how the crime has affected her life, focusing on her desire for a better future.

I am happy to say that I no longer feel fear. I’m graduating from high school. I’m going to beauty school. Besides, I’ll have my own apartment, Jane Doe told the court. I have a feeling that if the San Luis Obispo police hadn’t arrested him, he would have continued to beat and use me.

This conviction and sentence are yet another testament to the importance of our Human Trafficking Task Force and the sad reality of youth trafficking in San Luis Obispo County, said District Attorney Dan Dow. The District Attorney’s Office will continue to do everything in its power to prevent child trafficking in our community and to hold traffickers accountable for their crimes.

In addition to the local police witnesses, an expert from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Detective Tim Bergquist, testified on the subject of human trafficking and explained to the jury the dynamics and subculture of human trafficking. Nancy E. O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney, is one of the leaders in the fight against human trafficking in California and foundedHEAT Watchseveral years ago.

The Prosecutor’s Office would like to thank its partners who have been involved in the investigation of this case for the past two years: City of San Luis Obispo Police Department, San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Family Care Network, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office Inspection Unit, San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Investigation Bureau, Christopher G. Mony Victim and Witness Assistance Center, and our Child Abuse Interview Team (CAIT).

The case was investigated by the City of San Luis Obispo Police Department, with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Investigative Office; the prosecution was conducted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher B. Blanc.

If you or someone you know is being forced into an activity and can’t get out – whether it’s sex work, working in a home, farm, construction, factory, store, restaurant or other job – call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1(888)373-7888 or text 233733 (BE FREE).

On the spot, please contact: Crime Stoppers at (805)549-STOP; text SLOTIPS plus your message to CRIMES (274637). You may also call the District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Unit at (805)781-5821 or toll free at (866)781-5821.

Also, visit our website atslocounty.ca.gov/Departments/District-Attorney/Victim-Witness-Assistance-Center/Human-Trafficking.aspxfor more information about the Human Trafficking Task Force and available resources.

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