A lot of strange press releases come sailing through your inbox when you are working for a newspaper or news blog in the big city. Some are mildly amusing, some hilarious. Some are disturbing, some disgusting. Then, some are all of the above and more.
The U.S. Attorney's Office sent a release out about an alleged underaged-sex trafficker who is from Houston and sounds like a real upstanding member of the community. The strange tale includes, disturbingly, a 14-year-old girl, prostitution and a rap recording studio.
The release quotes are highlighted. My comments below each.
Jeremy Jacobi Scott aka "J Moe," 28, of Houston, has been ordered detained pending trial on charges of sex trafficking of a minor, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Scott was indicted by a grand jury on July 11, 2012, and arrested two days later by members of the Houston FBI Innocence Lost Task Force. Scott is charged with one count of trafficking of a child under 18 for commercial sex while knowing she was underage and using force, fraud or coercion to cause her to engage in a commercial sex act.
This is horrific stuff, but "J Moe?" I did a little searching online and there are a NUMBER of J Moes in the world, most of them producers or rappers or producers who want to be rappers. It's not a terrible name, actually, but where did the Moe come from? If your name was John Moses, for example, it makes sense. With this guy, just weird.
According to information presented in court today, between February and March 2011, Scott would allegedly pick the 14-year-old victim up at a school bus stop and drive her around town in an effort to gain her trust. He allegedly supplied her with marijuana and took her to a music studio where he recorded rap songs. The lyrics of some of his songs glorify prostitution and "pimping" and were consistent with terms used by persons who exploit women and minors for commercial sex. Once he gained her trust, he allegedly had sex with her, photographed her and used those photos to place advertisements for her services on a website known for the advertisement of prostitution services. According to evidence, the victim witnessed Scott beating another girl recruited to work for him and he kept all monies she earned.
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Again, seriously sick and gross stuff, but, again, something caught my eye. The U.S. Attorney thought to include a notation about the lyrics of his songs. I'm sure that's some Law & Order Jack McCoy thing to start mounting evidence, but now I just want to hear what these undoubtedly really awful rap songs sound like. Bonus points to the copywriter who put "pimping" in quotes. I imagine it's the kind of thing some attorney said and did the little air quotes thing with his fingers when saying it.
After hearing the evidence in court today, U.S. Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks remanded Scott to custody pending trial. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison as well as a $250,000 possible fine. Upon completion of any prison term imposed, Scott also faces a maximum of life on supervised release and will be required to register as a sex offender.
If he gets life in prison, he can use the time to "pimp" his budding rap career as a means of paying off that $250K fine. But if he does get life for this, my guess is it will probably be his cellmate doing the pimping.