Friday, July 20, 2012
Breaking: Feds drop human trafficking case against Global Horizons
by Larry Geller
This just in from the Associated Press --
A federal judge in Hawaii has dismissed a human trafficking case against executives of a labor recruiting company accused of exploiting hundreds of farm workers from Thailand.
The prosecution's request for dismissal was granted Friday in the case against the CEO and other officials of Los Angeles-based Global Horizons Manpower Inc. It was the U.S. government's largest-ever human trafficking case, involving about 600 Thai workers placed in farms across the U.S.
[Huffington Post, Feds dismiss largest US human trafficking case, 7/20/2012]
The Department of Justice had previously abandoned its case against Aloun Farms shortly after the trial had begun when a prosecutorial error was discovered.
This leaves only a series of civil actions by the EEOC still going forward with regard to accusations of human trafficking of hundreds of Thai workers in Hawaii and on the Mainland.
Update: This just in from a Department of Justice spokesperson:
Today the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss the human trafficking criminal prosecution against defendants in United States v. Orian, et. al. in Honolulu, Hawaii. The department moved for the dismissal based on an additional review of the evidence following the August 2011 dismissal in United States v. Sou. A team of attorneys and agents determined the government is unable to prove the elements of the charged offenses beyond a reasonable doubt, the high standard applied in criminal prosecutions, and that proceeding with the prosecution no longer serves the public interest. The dismissal is based on facts and circumstances specific to this case, applies to the criminal prosecution only, and does not apply to any ongoing civil litigation being conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Department of Justice is committed to identifying, assisting and seeking justice on behalf of human trafficking victims who have been trapped in some form of slavery, coerced labor, debt bondage or sex trafficking. Over the last three years, we’ve achieved significant increases in human trafficking prosecutions—including a rise of more than 30 percent in the number of forced labor and sex trafficking prosecutions, and we will aggressively continue to bring significant cases, ranging from single-victim domestic servitude cases to prosecutions that dismantle transnational organized criminal networks.
A copy of the motion to dismiss appears below. Caution: this is an OCR copy. Do not rely on it, there could be OCR errors.
Sorry I have not followed this story. I mistakenly assumed justice would prevail.
Were the workers here on worker visas?