Sat | Aug 18, 2018

More success in fight against human trafficking

Published:Sunday | July 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica's battle against human trafficking was given a fillip last week, with the upgrading of the country's status in the US State Department's Report and the latest sentencing of two more persons convicted of being part of this transnational criminal network.

Rohan Ebanks and Venoshia Reeves, who were convicted on June 17, were sentenced for human-trafficking violations in the Supreme Court last Friday.

Ebanks was found guilty by a seven-member jury after a lengthy trial and was sentenced on three counts: trafficking in persons, for which he received 14 years' imprisonment at hard labour; facilitating trafficking in persons - 10 years; and rape - 16 years.

Justice Courtney Daye, who handed down the sentences, ruled that the sentences would run concurrently and Ebanks should serve 10 years before possibility of parole.




Ebanks was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $2 million for medical and psychological treatment and emotional distress.

Reeves, who pleaded guilty in May for the offence of facilitating trafficking in persons, was sentenced to three years in prison suspended for 18 months.

Reeves, who was living with Ebanks at the time of the incident, was also fined $50,000.

The court was told that Ebanks took a 14-year-old Haitian girl to Jamaica, offering her prospects for a 'better life' but instead subjected the teen to domestic servitude and sexual exploitation.

Persons found guilty of trafficking in persons or who facilitate that offence are liable, on conviction, to a fine and/or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years.

In addition, where the person is convicted of the offence of trafficking in persons, the court shall order the person to pay restitution to the victim.

The court takes into consideration aggravating factors such as: if the victim is a minor, emotional and physical trauma suffered, if the victim suffers from a mental disorder or physical disability.