Wifredo A. Ferrer (J. Albert Diaz)
A Jamaican man was convicted Tuesday of sex trafficking in Miami federal court in a case that involved him pimping out women in South Florida, the Middle East and Australia.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said the prosecution of Damion St. Patrick Baston was unique because it was the first time prosecutors used a recently enacted extraterritorial jurisdiction provision of anti-trafficking laws to charge someone for sex trafficking that occurred in another country.
“This case actually started in Australia,” Ferrer said.
Baston was able to pass himself off as American using a fake passport and other identification, prosecutors told the jury.
“The bravery of the victims in this case is commendable,” Ferrer said. “Their testimony demonstrated that despite the terrible abuse that they suffered from this defendant they are truly survivors. We can never forget that human trafficking is a heinous crime that exploits people. It simply cannot be tolerated.”
Baston testified at trial that the women who participated in his escort service did so without coercion.