In general terms, human trafficking refers to moving individuals from one place to another against their will and with ill motives that basically benefits the traffickers and their allies while harming the victims. In the contemporary world, where the word can be said to be free of slavery, human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation has turned to be one of the global fast-developing criminal enterprise. In the essence, prostitution is not possible without purchasers ready to buy sex. Unfortunately, the demand for the service creates a room for violence against women, young girls, and even boys. The cruelty involved in sex trade and human trafficking is pervasive. The global society is not only overwhelmed by the notorious situation but also lacking the proper measures to curb the menace. It is related to the fact especially when it comes to acting against the individuals fuelling prostitution and human trafficking. The review of Jungers and Cook end demand cases provides some insights on advanced laws and regulations focused on combating purchased sex demand and delivering justice to the victims of this issue.
An Overview of the Two Cases
The close observation on the issues tabled by the two defendants namely, Cook and Jungers, in the petition of the unrelated cases clearly shows the following fact. Their arguments are based on the interpretation and understanding of law. In Cook’s case, the problem was in the United States Law § 1591(a) (2). It states that for an individual to be charged as a trafficker they must benefit “financially or by receiving anything of value from participation” (United States v. Cook). In other words, the law protects the trade of human beings in any form. Jungers’ case, however, is displayed in a different perspective in relation to the same law and in addition to the US Code §§ 1594(a). It is associated with other offences in different sections including but not limited to §§ 1581, 1589 and 1890, in connection to trafficking, slavery, and forced labor. These sections include not only the attempts to commit the crimes but as well involve the conspiracy utilized to do them. In addition, the usage of any property or facility to complete the misdeed is also a subject of a crime under the Section 1593. In this respect, Jungers tried to challenge the ruling invoking the validity of the Law § 1591(a). He was arguing that there was some ambiguity in sex trafficking and sex purchasing (United States v. Jungers).
The US Court of Appeals decided on Daron Lee Jungers’ case on the 7th January 2013. He was charged with the attempts of sex trafficking of a minor, thereby violating the Trafficking Victim Protection Act of 2000. The issue started as Jungers fell in the trap of the State and Federal officers that had placed online advertisements in South Dakota, which were aimed at pedophiles. Working undercover, they released several ads in February 2011. Jungers exchanged a few emails with the officers in response to these advertisements. He affirmed that he was ready to have the hour of oral sex with the girl aged 11 at his own house in Sioux City, Iowa. He, therefore, had to move her from Sioux Falls, the location set by the officers for their operation. After an agreement about his payment for the sexual act with the minor, he travelled to pick up the girl. However, he was arrested by the policemen after entering the house (United States v. Jungers). At the District Court, Jungers was found guilty of the attempts to have commercial sex trafficking, thereby violating §§ 1591 and 1594(a). Although he did not defend himself with any evidence, he challenged the charges using the fact that the jury had erred in interpreting the law. He contended that he merely paid for sex and had nothing to do with child sex trafficking as stated in the two acts. The District Court, therefore, discharged Jungers from confinement on December 2011, after reasoning that, “the purpose of § 1591 is to punish sex traffickers and that Congress did not intend to expand the field of those prosecuted under that statute to those who purchase sex made available by traffickers” (United States v. Jungers). In the Court of Appeals, however, this decision was revoked; and the defendant was as guilty as charged under §§ 1591 and 1594(a).
Bradley Cook’s case was handled by the W.D. Missouri District Court on 6th May 2013. He was charged with the violation of several sex trafficking related issues under several articles including §§ 159 and 1594. Specifically, his case indicated sex trafficking by use of fraud, coercion, and the application of the interstate facility in promotion of unlawful activities. The case involved several defendants, including Mr. and Mrs. Bagley. The issue revolved around a minor female suffering mental deficiencies and who was housing by the Bagleys. She was recruited, enticed, sexually abused, and tortured by the couple with the aim of coercing her to sex slavery. Bradley Cook assisted them by advocating that they were administering torture methods he used in his home with females that he sexually abused to their minor victim. It included but not limited to cutting her blood flow, tying them up, water boarding, and tying the breast with ropes. Apart of exchanging videos and pictures of torture methods, Cook travelled to Bagley’s home where he sexually abused the young girl and applied various torture methods (United States v. Cook).
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As indicated by the offences mentioned, Cook was tried accordingly as per the sex trafficking laws. Although he pleaded guilty to count two ones that enforced against “Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud or Coercion” (United States v. Cook) he filed a motion to dismiss the same as unconstitutionally vague. According to him, there were no financial or valuable material benefits that he received from his acts. Therefore, he was not affected by § 1591(a)(2). He argued that the statute had not provided a precise definition for the term anything of value and, thus, the court of misinterpreting the law (United States v. Cook). Nevertheless, in its ruling, the justice body argued its case that the things of value included downloading of files, sexual encounter, and file sharing of child pornography that could attract potential pedophiles, making it commercially profitable (United States v. Cook) . To cement its ruling, the court provided the evidence that Cook physically tortured the minor and sexually assaulted her. He also observed others were doing the same things, downloaded Bagley’s pictures of the victim, and, in return, provided Bagley with the videos of extreme torture including burying somebody alive.
Analysis of the Two Cases
The study of the two cases demonstrates how the defendants make some efforts of getting away from human trafficking and sexual assault accusations. It is proper that the Fifth Amendment provides every individual the right to due process. This authority is given from the perception that vague statutes are known to be void. In this concept, the statute proves void for its vagueness on two conditions. If it “fails to provide a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice of what is prohibited” or if it “is so standard less that it authorizes or encourages seriously discriminatory enforcement” (United States v. Jungers).The idea here is to ensure that the accused person has a clear understanding of their offence; and that the statute provides the indiscriminate interpretation.
In Cooks case, there is the proven evidence that he definitely attached the value to the photographs and videos received, as well as the sexual acts were provided by the young girl. It was not in vain that he travelled from St. Lois to Bagley’s home in Missouri to have sex with the minor, communicated and shared torture methods with that family, and received pornographic videos and photographs. If they were not the valuable things he would not have demanded them or spent his time and energy to attain. However, Cook challenges the district Court for its failure to cite the case law where the thing of value includes photographs or sexual acts under the section 1591(a) (2). In contrast, it can be argued that an individual of ordinary intelligence should have no problem understanding that such videos and photographs, as well as sexual acts, on which many people usually spend a lot of efforts, time, and money to acquire, must constitute to the things of value. Cook is, therefore, made aware that he participated in the commercial sex trafficking affair.
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In the same manner, Jungers tries to argue his case by pointing out that the elements of § 1591do not include the notion of sex purchasing in enforcing the child sex trafficking regulation. The subsequent acts in §§ 1594 and the core principle in § 1591should be clear to the individuals of the following ordinary understanding. The readiness to buy sex from a minor and transport them from one point to the other directly interprets to child sex trafficking. The agreement for a sexual purchase, awareness that he is going to sexually engage with the young girl, and travelling with the aim taking her to his place for sexual pleasures are enough prove Cook’s violation of §§ 1591 and 1594(a). The court argued that the accused individual was to knowingly obtain and transport a person for commercial sex purposes. The act also affected the interstate commerce obtained at the expense of the minor. Since the aim of the sexual acts’ statute was to combat human trafficking, the section 1591 does not provide an exception to customers or purchasers of sex that profit from this trade. There is also avoidance of the terms supply and a supplier, since the perpetrators should be subjected to punishment for violating related crimes regardless of their purpose (United States v. Cook).
Harm Caused by Human Trafficking and Sex Trade
The discussion in Cook’s and Jungers’ cases is the clear indication that there is a great demand for trafficking of humans and sex trade. The manner, in which it is conducted, shows that it is not only a lucrative business but also an organized criminal enterprise. In other words, it is a well-established organization of traffickers and facilitators. Vardaman and Raino state that “in the United States alone, human trafficking is a $9.8 billion industry” (Vardaman and Raino, 367). This factor alone is a threat to any organization trying to deal with the culprits in such an operation. In addition, the culprits are the notorious individuals that harass the victims, especially the minors in unimaginable measures. For instance, Cook’s case recorded the extreme activities like electrocution, chaining, sodomizing, and even burying the victims alive.
Law enforcements departments and scholars on the issue have raised an alarm on the change of events and the way, in which human trafficking has widely spread across the globe. Whereas in the past victims were known to be women and children, men as the buyers, and males are also increasingly becoming the victims, and females are being as buyers and traffickers. In such a scenario, the society suffers a big loss because of many young people and helpless individuals that are devastated by human trafficking and sexual trade exploitation. The idea of minors being used for sexual services is complex, firstly, as there are many players involved. The typical case is where an influential adult compels the child to offer sex for favors. The minor is in such a scenario helpless against a powerful person who maybe a parent or a guardian. The other scheme is that of grownups luring minors in social media platforms whereby innocent boys and girls are too innocent to comply with the hidden demands of their oppressors. The fact that it is done undercover makes it very difficult to even trace or make the culprit face the law.
Apart from the justice related issues, there is also the question of the health status of the victims. In most cases, they suffer the despicable complication, which range from unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted illnesses, HIV infections, and traumas amongst others. The issue there is that despite the proper measures by law enforcements bodies, there are still many complications related to the issue (Busick 339-340). Human trafficking has become a menace that can be translated to the modern day slavery.
Effectiveness of “End Demand”
In general, end demand is a sex buyer law that is framed in an effective legal platform and being aimed at preventing sexual exploitation and human trafficking business. This regulation has three key opponents namely, criminalizing buying of sex, decriminalizing selling of sex, and offer support services to victims of commercial sex exploitation. This law was initially introduced in 1999 in Sweden. It has demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing demand for sex trade and human traffickers. The underlying principle of the Sex Buyer Law holds that the exploitation of individuals through prostitution thrives due to some demand of the persons ready to pay for sex (“What is the Sex Buyer Law?”). The EU Commissioner for Home Affairs clearly stated that, “only by addressing demand for all forms of exploitation can we can begin to address trafficking in human beings… we cannot address the sexual exploitation of victims without addressing the users” (“What is the Sex Buyer Law?”). The argument of a commissioner touches on the core issue in human trafficking business, namely the demand for sex. He challenges the current public opinion that it is normal for minors and women to be treated as sexual objects through offering money for their sexual acts’ offers.
The regulation, therefore, purposes to reduce demand for sexual trade, criminalize the sale of sex, and transform some attitudes that selling sex is a normal practice within the society. The evidence of its effectiveness can be seen in Sweden, whereby between 1999 and 2008 there had been street prostitution reducing by half reported. The number of men buying sex had reduced significantly in the same period. Since the law was introduced, there have been the reports of less human trafficking and prostitution activities (“What is the Sex Buyer Law?”). In the US, there are also some positive developments aimed at following the Swedish move. For instance, there have been some discussions that the US Attorneys consider using the Eighth Circuit ruling in order to reduce sex demand.
Recommendations for a Future Approach
The same way that the Thirteen Amendment made slavery a punishable crime by use of effective laws, there should be the additional statutes aimed at providing an effective protection to victims, as well as punishing anyone involved in sex trafficking. The existing human trafficking statutes in the United States especially with the new emphasis of the year 2000 changes should take effect in all states to prove its effectiveness. The demand for sex trafficking should be curbed through various measures offered in the end demand laws. However, the problem should not be left to the law enforcement bodies alone but declared as a national urgency. In this case, the global society through different organizations and human rights advocates should be quite aggressive. However, Verdaman and Raino state that, “The anonymity of buyers presents one of the greatest challenges to investigation and arrest” (11). The statement calls for aggressive actions towards the protection of victims by, for instance, trailing the offenders like in the case of Jungers. It is due to the reason that the traffickers not use evasive techniques but also cause trauma to its victims such that they cannot comprehend anything after the sexual assault.
Based on Jungers’ and Cook’s cases, there is the clear indication that if human trafficking laws are properly enforced, the problem will ease tremendously. The end demand laws need to be implemented across the globe as they have proven their effectiveness in Sweden and other places. It is the fact that sex trafficking is complex. However, protecting the enslaved victims and enforcing sex demand laws will extinguish the inhuman acts.
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