Profile of a Human Trafficking Case: Leon Jerome Daniels
17 Counts of Sex Trafficking: 196 Years in Prison
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and to illustrate the seriousness of these crimes, and the penalties they carry, we’d like to highlight a recent prosecution.
Leon Jerome Daniels (03/24/1987) was sentenced on July 1, 2016 for 17 counts related to the trafficking of three females–two adults and one minor–for sex around the time of the 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix. The charges included counts of child prostitution for causing the minor to engage in prostitution, receiving the earnings from a minor engaged in prostitution, transporting a minor with the intent that she engage in prostitution and sexual conduct with a minor. He was also charged with transporting the adult females for prostitution, compelling, inducing or encouraging them to engage in acts of prostitution, and receiving the earnings from their acts of prostitution.
On January 30, 2015, the defendant brought three girls from California to Arizona to engage in prostitution. He told them that the trip would be a way make a lot of money since the Super Bowl was going to be held in the Valley at the time.
He would drive the girls to prostitution “dates,” take their earnings, post advertisements for them on www.Backpage.com and had strict “rules” to follow. He made them check in with him during their dates with the “Johns,” told them how much to charge, and controlled who they talked to. He also had sexual intercourse with the 17-year-old minor victim and was verbally and physically abusive with an adult victim with whom he had a child in common.
The defendant did everything in his power to dissuade his victims from coming to court or testifying against him. He represented himself through much of the trial, and cross examined the victims himself. It was after all the victims appeared and identified him in court that he requested to have an attorney represent him. The State presented recordings of his calls from jail at trial in which the defendant talked about getting the victims not to appear for court or convincing them to not identify him if they did appear in court.
This defendant controlled the lives of these victims and preyed on them for his own gain through the most insidious means. This verdict was possible through the dedicated efforts of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners to aggressively identify sex traffickers and hold accountable those who engage in this activity.