Local Rapper Found Guilty of Sex Trafficking of a Minor
HOUSTON – A federal jury has convicted a 27-year-old Houston resident and member of The Sauce Factory for conspiracy and sex trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. The jury deliberated for less than eight hours before convicting Jaimian Sims after five days of trial.
At trial, the jury heard that Sims trafficked both adult and minor females.
In one instance, Sims had directed a co-defendant - Tabbetha Mangis, 22, of La Grange - to find another co-defendant - Gary Shawn Haynes Jr. - 23, of Houston - to find Haynes a girl for prostitution. The victim, only 17 years of age, was picked up from her residence and transported to a 5,000 square foot residence in Northwest Houston, known as “The Mansion.”
After a brief stay there, the jury heard that the minor was taken to the Express Inn where she was given an identification card in order to rent a room. Sims had instructed an adult victim to provide the card to the minor. He had also told that adult to take photos of the minor female victim and post ads for her which was used to solicit customers who would pay for sex.
The jury heard testimony from the adult victim who described her fear of Sims because he always carried a gun and he had assaulted some of the other women who engaged in commercial sex on his behalf.
Testimony also revealed the minor victim wanted to be “arrested” because she was afraid the perpetrators would think she was speaking to law enforcement on her own. This dovetailed with the government’s expert testimony on victimology and the pimp/prostitution subculture amongst those involved in that world as “the game.” The expert described for the jury the meaning of several terms associated with and used by those within this subculture to include victims and defendants.
The jury also saw and heard three rap videos featuring Sims which contained many of the terms people use in the game.
The defense attempted to convince the jury that the women were not victims and engaged in the sex acts willingly nor did he use force, fraud 0r coercion to make them do so. They were not convinced and found him guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking of a minor.
Mangis and Haynes previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
U.S. District Judge David Hittner presided over the trial and set sentencing for Aug. 14, 2019. At that time, Sims faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
He will remain in custody pending that hearing.
The Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 4 and FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office as part of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA).
Established in 2004, the United States Attorney’s office in Houston formed the HTRA to combine resources with federal, state and local enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as non-governmental service organizations to target human traffickers while providing necessary services to those that the traffickers victimized. Since its inception, HTRA has been recognized as a national model in identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking and prosecuting those engaged in trafficking offenses.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sherri Zack and Kimberly Leo are prosecuting the case.