Two indicted on sex trafficking chargesPublished 12:41am Saturday, November 10, 2012
JACKSON (AP) — Two men have been indicted in Mississippi on sex trafficking charges related to a video that authorities say shows them having sex with a girl who is 3 or 4 years old.
Marco Laquin Rogers and Jeremy Atral Hodges, both 26, were indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Jackson on one count each of child sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion and one count each of selling or buying of children.
Court records say both men are from Mississippi, but Rogers had been living in Atlanta and Hodges in Cambridge, Mass.
Rogers’ lawyer, Kevin Camp, said Friday that the charges against his client are related to the video’s production. Camp said he doesn’t think his client had sex with the child, but he also said hasn’t seen the video or other evidence in the case.
A complaint that initially charged Rogers on Oct. 1 said the video shows both men having sex with the child.
Camp said he is contesting the charges in the indictment.
“The indictment doesn’t allege that he had sex with the girl,” Camp said.
The U.S. attorney’s office had no comment.
The sex trafficking charge says the men transported the child “knowing that she would be caused to engage in commercial sex acts.” The other charge says they “did employee, use, persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction.”
The complaint that initially charged Rogers in October said authorities served him with a court order on Sept. 28 compelling him to allow agents to photograph scars on his stomach and right leg. The affidavit says the scars matched those on the man in the video.
Court records say the investigation began Sept. 6 in Cambridge, Mass., after Hodges asked another man there if he liked young girls and showed him explicit images of children on his cellphone.
Hodges told the man that he knows someone who had “hooked him up with a couple of young girls,” according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint against Rogers.
The man kicked Hodges out of his house and called police, the affidavit said.
The affidavit, written by a Homeland Security Investigations agent, said Rogers was listed under the name “Black Perv” in Hodges’ phone.
Hodges allegedly told authorities that Rogers had access to a 3-year-old girl he uses for “sexual acts.” The complaint also said Rogers traveled with the child to Atlanta, Jackson and Memphis, Tenn.
U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball in Jackson ruled on Oct. 29 that Rogers should be held without bond.
Hodges is being held in Middlesex County, Mass., where he has been charged with more than 20 counts of possession of child pornography and dissemination of child pornography. A hearing on those charges is scheduled for Thursday.
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