Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Florida woman pleads guilty to charge of sex slavery

LEE COUNTY: A Southwest Florida woman pled guilty to charges relating to sex slavery. NBC2's Stacey Deffenbaugh was the only reporter in court as the woman told the judge what happened.

During the one hour hearing Tuesday, 31-year-old, Naomi Vasquez told the judge she and a co-defendant would give illegal drugs to the victims and make them perform acts of prostitution for money.

Click the links in the "Related Stories" section at the right to read the original article on Vasquez as well other NBC2 articles on sex slavery and human trafficking.
A 19-page plea agreement gives specific details of what happened. Police arrested Vasquez and co-defendant Derek Ned after two undercover operations.

The three victims - all Cape Coral women, ages 27, 25 and 20 - worked with police to set up undercover stings and at the La Quinta Inn in Fort Myers and another location in Bonita Springs.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the defendants were involved in a sex slavery organization that utilized women of Haitian and American descent, forcing them to commit acts of prostitution by threatening the women with serious bodily injury if they did not prostitute themselves.

In court Tuesday, prosecutors outlined the case, saying the women performed as many as 10 acts of prostitution a day.

They received between $150 and $300 and investigators say Vasquez and Ned kept all the money.

The women told police they were afraid to leave because they heard Ned say he was a murderer and he was willing to kill again.

Vasquez is facing 20 years in prison. But in court, prosecutors said they will be recommending the low end the sentence guideline.

As for Derek Ned, prosecutors believe he was the mastermind of the sex slavery business and they will ask for a longer sentence in his case.

By Stacey Deffenbaugh

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