Prosecutor: ‘Bravery of survivors’ who took stand leads to rare sex trafficking conviction
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu jury convicted a man of sex trafficking years after his arrest.
For prosecutors, it was a rare victory.
Marquis Green was convicted of first-degree sexual assault, first-degree sex trafficking, and third-degree assault.
All the counts happened in 2013 and involved the abuse of a girl under 18 years old.
“Green is a cowardly vicious pimp,” said Honolulu city Prosecutor Steve Alm. “And he took advantage of young teenage girls just to make money for him.”
“Based on this whole coordinated effort ― really led by the bravery of our two survivors ... they never gave up ― Mr. Green is looking at prison for a long time.”
Alm said he couldn’t recall the last time someone was convicted of sex trafficking.
He said it is difficult to convict someone if the victim isn’t willing to take the stand.
“The best way to do it is what happened in this case, where people get on the stand can tell their story can explain exactly what happened and say, that person sitting over there is the one who brought me into this and took advantage of me,” Alm said.
Alm said defense delays prolonged the case, but luckily the two victims held their ground.
Sentencing is set for July and Green is looking at at least 20 years in jail, but Alm wants more through consecutive sentences.
“It’s just it isn’t very common, but it is appropriate in certain circumstances,” Alm said.
“That really says how serious this is. But it also is a deterrence not just to that person, but to other people contemplating the same thing.”
Alm said he also hopes the verdict will give victims confidence that the trafficker will be prosecuted and perhaps encourage other victims to come forward.
If you or someone you know is struggling with trafficking, call the Sex Abuse Treatment Center Hotline at 808-524-7273.
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