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Department of Justice
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kalamazoo, Michigan, Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking and Interstate Transportation for Prostitution

David Q. Givhan, aka “Premier,” 34, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was convicted late yesterday by a jury of one count of sex trafficking and three counts of interstate transportation for prostitution.  

The verdict was announced by Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. of the Western District of Kentucky; and Special Agent in Charge Amy S. Hess of the FBI’s Louisville Division.

According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, Givhan prostituted three women for his profit at various times between October 2014 and April 2015 and transported them from Michigan to Kentucky and other states for the purpose of prostitution.  He used force, fraud and coercion to compel one of the women to prostitute for him between October 2014 and March 2015.  He initially recruited the woman – a single mother of three – using false promises of steady income and a better life.  However, once she began earning money, he kept it all.  Givhan required her to earn $1,000 a day and beat other women who did not meet their quota in front of her.  Givhan also required her to tattoo his alias, “Premier,” on her neck and threatened to hurt or kill her or her family if she refused to continue prostituting for him.  When she objected to his demand that she perform particular acts for customers, he sexually assaulted her.  At one point, the woman tried to leave Givhan, but he found her, placed her in a chokehold and told her it was time to return to work.  On a trip to Florida, he compelled her to continue prostituting for his profit, even after she sought medical attention for severe pain and bleeding.  Shortly thereafter, she managed to escape by enlisting the help of a hotel clerk and her mother.

“Sex trafficking offends the basic standards of human decency and dignity that form the bedrock of a civilized society,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Gupta.  “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute the unconscionable crime of sex trafficking and work to vindicate the rights of vulnerable victims.”

“Forcible sex trafficking is effectively a form of modern day slavery,” said U.S. Attorney Kuhn.  “Victims, often vulnerable women, are terrorized by violence, threats and other coercion.  This swift verdict should be a strong message that sex trafficking will not be tolerated by my Office and the Department of Justice.”
“Protecting the victims of human trafficking is one of the FBI's top priorities,” said Special Agent in Charge Hess.  “We work closely with community leaders and our law enforcement partners to proactively target predators like the defendant who are involved in human trafficking.  Our agents and task force officers are committed to addressing every such allegation we receive.  We will continue to work tirelessly to protect and rescue the victims who are unable to defend themselves.”

After deliberating for under five hours, the jury found the defendant guilty on all four counts.  A fifth count was dismissed during trial.  Sentencing is scheduled for March 14, 2017.  The defendant faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison.  

The case was investigated by the FBI’s Louisville Division and Louisville Metro Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda E. Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky and Trial Attorney William Nolan of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.

Human Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
Updated December 14, 2016