Monday, July 26, 2010

Atlanta Man Faces Charges for Sex Trafficking Three Juveniles

DEMETRIUS DARNELL HOMER, 29, of Atlanta, Georgia, has been arrested and was arraigned July 22 on federal charges of sex trafficking of three juveniles. HOMER was indicted by a federal grand jury on July 13, 2010. HOMER was arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Gerrilyn Brill who ordered HOMER detained.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said of the case, “This defendant allegedly recruited very young girls and turned them into prostitutes, robbing them of their youth, their dignity, and their freedom. Vigorously prosecuting those who exploit children and young women is a top priority for our office.”

FBI Atlanta Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Lamkin said, “The FBI has responded to the serious problem of sex trafficking of juveniles by establishing a federally funded task force that understands the problem and, in turn, works with area law enforcement agencies in targeting predators that exploit juveniles by recruiting or forcing them into the world of prostitution. The FBI is proud of the role it plays in making the streets safer for its youth and encourages the public to contact the Atlanta office FBI with any information regarding such heinous activities as child prostitution.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: HOMER faces three counts of sex trafficking relating to three different juveniles, identified in court documents as under the age of 18. According to the indictment, from January 2009 through at least November 2009, HOMER recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained, and maintained three different juvenile females for prostitution. In the case of one victim, HOMER is also charged with using force, fraud, and coercion to cause her to engage in prostitution.

Two of the charges carry a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and the third charge carries a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, with all charges having a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentence, the court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.

The government proffered evidence that he had assaulted at least one victim on multiple occasions in the past, and pulled a gun on another young woman with whom he was involved. The court noted HOMER’s history of violence, his extensive arrest and conviction record, the nature of the offenses charged and the possibility of violence against the victims if he was released in ordering HOMER detained without bond.

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government's burden to prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

This case is being investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the FBI's Metro Atlanta Child Exploitation Task Force including Atlanta Police Department, Gwinnett County Police Department, City of Marietta Police Department, and Sandy Springs Police Department. If anyone has any information about human trafficking, they are encouraged to report the information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 404-679-9000.

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