Delray police are accusing a man of using drugs and violence to keep at least five women and teenage girls under control while he sold them in area hotel rooms. Olrith Joseph is facing numerous charges. Police claim that he forced himself on a minor girl before posting her online. He told her he wanted to see what his money would get.
Another woman told police that he “groomed” her using acts of kindness only to become violent when she threatened to stop working for him.
Joseph is facing charges related to drug and human trafficking, and lewd and lascivious acts on a minor. Joseph is currently serving a three-year sentence on drug trafficking charges.
What is Human Trafficking?
Both the state and federal governments have statutes related to human trafficking. Joseph will be charged under state law, so that’s what we’ll be looking at in this article.
According to the State of Florida, human trafficking is defined as illegal attempts to coerce an individual into performing a job over a period of time. While human trafficking is generally thought to be sex trafficking by the general public, individuals can be forced into any of a number of industries including janitorial or restaurant work.
Human traffickers use a variety of techniques to control the people they traffic. This includes keeping their victims under lock and key but also using techniques that are employed by some countries. These include confiscating passports, visas, or other documentation that would allow someone to freely move about the country. Threats of violence against individuals or their family members are also common. In some cases, keeping control of the victim’s funds works to keep them in line. The question then becomes one of coercion.
Most charges related to any form of human trafficking are considered felonies of the first degree. This means a maximum 30-year sentence.
Any attempt to recruit, harbor, solicit, or transport a person for the purpose of commercial exploitation is considered human trafficking under the law.
What’s the Difference Between Pimping and Human Trafficking?
There may no longer be a difference between traditional “pimping” and human trafficking. The element of a crime that must be proven is that the individual exerted some kind of coercive force over a person for the sake of commercial exploitation. If that doesn’t include the vast majority of pimps, I would be surprised.
In Joseph’s case, he is accused of using threats of physical violence against individuals and their families to force cooperation. In one case, Joseph is accused of taking a photo of a woman’s driver’s license. He punched and choked another woman who threatened to leave.
In other words, the things that pimps normally do in the course of their pimping is considered human trafficking under the law.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a crime, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to discuss the matter and learn more about how we can help.