Those facing sex crimes charges in Minnesota may find the following story very interesting. More than 30 individuals were alleged to have been involved in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children in three states, including Minnesota.
However, of the original 30, only nine have yet been prosecuted for the prostitution ring at trial. Six of those nine have been acquitted by a jury. The charges have been dismissed against three of those charged because they were juveniles at the time of the alleged crimes. Now, most recently, three of the men who were convicted on the sex crime charges have had their convictions overturned.
The allegations were based primarily upon the testimony of a purported victim who testified at trial that she was forced into prostitution at age 12. However, according to new evidence, this witness apparently lied about her age. According to the defense, the alleged victim was 18 or 19 years of age at the time that she was connected with one of the defendants, who was also 19 years of age at the time.
Based upon this new evidence, the judge has recently overturned the convictions. Hopefully this will mean that these three accused men will now get out of jail in the near future. They may have to face a new trial, if the prosecution wins an appeal of this acquittal. If the prosecution decides not to appeal this decision, then they will be free men.
Hopefully this story will give hope to anyone who may be themselves the victim of allegations based upon fabricated evidence, but which can result in putting innocent people behind bars for crimes that they did not commit.
Source: Pioneer Press, "Judge overturns 3 convictions in alleged Somali sex-trafficking ring," Dec. 19, 2012
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