Sent: 4/18/12 1:32 PM
Subject: Re: Score One for the Good Guy
The case marks the first time ever that forfeiture proceeds go to any of the victims. The US Attorneys office in Houston set up a group ostensibly called Human Trafficking Resources Association. Then word was spread on the street that if anyone came forward with information there would be no immigration issues. This resulted in a few tips which ultimately led to the conviction of a number of traffickers. The judge’s ruling yesterday is a milestone for another reason. The adult women can request to share in the proceeds of the forfeiture in a separate civil proceeding. The results of that proceeding if unfavorable, allows a few good attorneys to attempt to establish the rights of the adult trafficking victims and to publicize those rights in Court proceedings. For me it represents a very rare opportunity to have judicial rulings which remove the delineation of the victim status between the minors and adults. In the absence of yesterday’s ruling, there would be no vehicle to work with in the courts. I will expound in much greater detail when we can talk. In the meantime, pray that we can get a few of the adult victims to participate as parties in the new lawsuit.
The Court has not signed the final order applying the proceeds to the victims. That order is scheduled to be heard on 5/23 – somebody you know may be present 🙂
The wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine.