A Texas jury in Corpus Christi wasted no time in handing down a 40-year prison sentence following their conviction on Friday of a man who was sex trafficking a 15-year-old girl.
Jovan Miles was convicted of human trafficking on Friday. He could have faced up to 99 years in prison for forcing the young girl to perform acts of prostitution. Instead, the jury handed down a 40-year sentence.
The case was the first human trafficking conviction for the Nueces County prosecutor’s focusing on human exploitation, according to a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
“Human trafficking is an egregious crime, and cases like this one are the very reason my office has launched a section dedicated to combating it,” General Paxton said in the written statement. “Thanks to the hard work of the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office and my office’s Human Trafficking and Transnational Organized Crime Section, a vile predator is incarcerated and will be unable to harm anyone again. I will continue the fight against human trafficking and will work tirelessly with law enforcement officials and advocacy groups to rid our state of this detestable crime.”
Paxton’s office reported that Miles was trafficking the 15-year-old girl by advertising her sexual services on Backpage.com. The trafficking went on for two months in 2015.
During the closing arguments one of the prosecutors told the jury, “We need to let the community know it is not okay to sell a human being. There is no price tag on a human being,” according to KRIS NBC6’s Benjamin Lloyd in Corpus Christi.
The girl was discovered by Houston police officers working human trafficking information on Backpage.com. They found the girl offering her services in Corpus Christi. Houston officers turned the information over to the Corpus Christi Police Department who tracked down the girl working out of a Days Inn on the city’s south side.
Miles paid for the Backpage.com ads and her motel room. The girl told detectives she began prostituting herself in Houston. She said she never had a chance to be a child because she was always put in adult situations by her parents and grandfather. She told investigators her parents were recruiters for human traffickers looking for girls.
Lloyd reported that Miles testified during the trial and claimed he did not know the girl was fifteen. “I never considered myself a pimp because I never influenced her or forced her to do those things,” he told the jury.
Paxton said his Human Trafficking Prosecutor Krista Leeburg Melton assisted Nueces County Assistant District Attorney Michelle Putman in prosecuting the case against Miles. The trial was held in the 94th District Court.