Thursday, February 08, 2007

Woman Pleads Guilty To Sex Slave Charges

This story is one I blogged about when the arrests were made.

A woman charged with holding two teenage girls captive and forcing them to work as prostitutes faces 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to three felony counts Tuesday. Lamiea Shelik Kerschbaum, 35, of St. Paul, entered an Alford plea to charges of promoting prostitution and kidnapping.

Under the Alford plea, she acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her, but did not admit to the details of the crime. She did, however, acknowledge the victims were in her home when the crimes allegedly occurred. Kerschbaum, her husband and her two teenage sons were accused of kidnapping, drugging and assaulting the girls, and forcing them into prostitution.

[...] Kerschbaum's husband, Benjamin Kerschbaum, 30, pleaded guilty to kidnapping in July and agreed to testify against his wife and his two teenage stepsons. His sentencing date is pending, but he faces seven years and four months in prison under his plea agreement, plus another three years and five months if he violates the terms of his probation. Her two sons also pleaded guilty. Another co-defendant, Alphonso Jermaine Mitchell, 33, still faces charges.

I'm glad so many of those involved will face punishments for their crimes. Too often it seems like the victims are treated as if what happened was their own fault. "How dare you trust the wrong people."

We need to do more to stop people who will use others like this.

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posted by Marcella Chester @ 8:36 PM   0 comments links to this post


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