Woman accuses four ex-cops of aiding sex trafficking testifies

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A woman known only to jurors asked Jane Doe a question she knew was coming but was clearly afraid when she shook her head Thursday. When asked, can she explain the injuries she suffered during her five years in Virginia? Based on a sex trafficking ring?

Her voice trembled as she spoke of the humiliation her client had suffered. Eventually, she breaks down in tears, and the words “I’m so embarrassed” are barely audible between her tears, prompting her to temporarily stay the trial of Doe’s civil case against the former police chief and three other officers. forced to

This was the most dramatic moment in the trial we’ve focused on so far. blockbuster claims The former Fairfax County police chief and three police officers are clients of the prostitution ring, and have been accused of providing information to the organization’s head, Hazel Sanchez, when sting operations and undercover agents are in the area. He acted as a guardian of the prostitution ring.

Former executive Ed Ressler and three other officers have all denied the charges, but two former officers, Michael Barbasett and Jason Maldocco, found their numbers on Sanchez’s phone. After that, he admitted that they were Sanchez’s customers and resigned from the military.

So far, the jury has heard testimony from Doe and another woman who claims she was trafficked. In both cases, all four officers identified him as a man they had seen in various hotels and apartments in Northern Virginia, where Sanchez set up shop.

They also heard from William Wolfe, a decorated former police officer who was assigned to investigate sex trafficking as part of a multijurisdictional task force. Wolfe said his boss, Barbazett, interfered in his investigation, and a fourth defendant, James Baumstark, said that when Wolfe expressed concern about how he was being controlled, he He testified that he was indifferent.

Baumstark is currently the Deputy Chief of Police in Asheville, North Carolina.

While there is strong evidence that women suffered badly in the Doe and Sanchez operation, a civil trial jury in the U.S. District Court of Alexandria questioned whether four police officers aided Doe’s trafficking. We are facing more serious problems.

“They’re under the rule of law. They’re her to protect us. They shouldn’t be clients,” Doe said Thursday after she regained her composure and the trial resumed. Said.

However, on cross-examination, the defense attorney questioned whether the woman had correctly identified the four police officers as her clients.

The allegations have progressed since the lawsuit was filed in 2021. The lawsuit did not initially identify the names of the officers. Barbazette and Mardocco learn that Doe’s attorney, Victor Glasberg, resigned after the FBI handed over findings of Sanchez’s prostitution ring, and that the findings prompted his two resignations. It was later added to the lawsuit.

wrestler and baumstark added to the lawsuit Roessler and Baumstark were convicted in federal court of running a prostitution ring and sentenced to prison. He was publicly accused of being a customer when the trial began on Tuesday.

Roessler and Baumstark attorney Kim Baucom said: called the allegations against them “ridiculous” and “made of whole cloth”.

Ressler retired as head of Fairfax County, a populous suburb of the country’s capital, in January 2021, years after the Sanchez ring collapsed and before Doe’s lawsuit was filed. There is no indication that the allegations played any role in his decision to retire.

Defense attorneys cite evidence that Doe wanted to marry a prostitute, not a victim of human trafficking.

Doe admitted to being willing to have sex for money when she was recruited to come to the United States from Costa Rica in 2010.

But according to Doe, Sanchez’s recruiter told her that Sanchez would be working primarily as a nanny and doing housework in the United States. , she said.

Another woman who testified with Doe was subject to extensive interrogation as to why she returned to work for Sanchez, while traveling back and forth between Costa Rica and the United States.

Both women testified that Sanchez threatened their families, showed them pictures of their children at home and at school, and hinted that they had operatives in Costa Rica who could harm them. He believed that the police were protecting Sanchez, so he didn’t think he would be able to escape to the police.

A trial is underway. Lawyers for the four officers have yet to present their claims.