Published: Monday, October 02, 2017 @ 12:00 AM
By: Mark Gokavi - Staff Writer
Jermar White told a judge Monday what he thought of the bench trial in which he was found guilty of six of eight charges after allegations that he engaged in sex trafficking with two 15-year-old girls.
“This case was obviously corrupt,” said White, 32, of Dayton, during a long diatribe to the court. White alleged that the victims had multiple different statements during the investigation that became identical at trial, that his counsel was ineffective and that some statements had been coerced. “All of this is just wrong.”
After that, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy O’Connell told White that there was no corruption and sentenced White to prison for 11 years.
O’Connell sentenced White to 10 years and 11 years for the two counts of trafficking in persons, plus three to four years each on other counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, pandering obscenity of a minor and compelling prostitution.
O’Connell said the sentences would run concurrently and that White will be required to register as both a Tier II and Tier III sex offender. White was credited with 511 days of jail-time credit.
“Sir, I saw no corruption,” O’Connell said, saying defense attorney Carl Goraleski’s defense led to not guilty findings on two counts that involved whether White knew the ages of the victims. “Mr. Goraleski did an outstanding job.”
O’Connell told White that all of his rights as a defendant were protected. The judge addressed the defense’s claim that this was the first human trafficking case in Montgomery County to go to trial and special attention was given to it.
“Just because this might be an initial case on a relatively new statute, and the city of Dayton police department and others were aggressive about it, or energetic and worked hard on this case doesn’t mean there was corruption,” O’Connell said. “Yes, this is a relatively new law because it’s a very significant problem in the community.”
O’Connell later told White, “It was disgusting what you did.”
Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Kelly Madzey said, “This really is how human trafficking begins,” she said, adding that the case “was a picture of how young girls and women become trapped in this lifestyle.”
The two victims did not attend the sentencing.
Goraleski said this human trafficking case was a different scenario than slavery or people crammed in trailers in the desert.
“There was no brutality. There was no physical cruelty,” Goraleski said. “Certainly you can argue about the harm that the victims claim they suffered.
“They had every opportunity to leave that residence and one did and came back.”
A co-defendant, Iesha Heard, was sentenced last week to three years in prison.