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May 8, 2014
Star News


Jamaican to go on trial in US for human trafficking
Bjorn Burke, Staff Reporter

A Jamaican national who United States authorities allege is behind a multi-country human trafficking ring is to stand trial in Miami, Florida, next month.

Thirty-seven-year-old Damion St Patrick Baston pleaded not guilty to five counts of transporting people for prostitution, illegal importation of a person for prostitution, use of a passport secured by false statement, identity theft and three counts of money laundering.

Prosecutor Roy Altman told the US District Court that "Baston is a violent pimp who has trafficked women across several continents, including in the southern district of Florida, Australia and Dubai," NineMSN reported.

THE STAR gathered that the prosecutor's claims were refuted by Baston's attorney who described him as "a lover of women, not a fighter of women".

The accused man's June 16 trial is likely to last two weeks, with some of his alleged victims expected to appear to testify against him.

Baston, who authorities allege used appalling violence and rape to keep women captive, forcing them to prostitute themselves in the United States, Australia, and other countries, was arrested in December 2013 in New York during a joint operation by Australian and US authorities.

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