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CASE NAME:United States v. Joseph Morales
ALL PLAINTIFFS:United States
ALL DEFENDANTS:Joseph Morales, Somyos Kedjumnong, Wilawan Prajimnok, Siew Geok Adkins, Somchay Khounsavanh, Wanida Kitjaorapin, Chawalit Silapanon, Yuk Lam Chan, Saravut Wattanasiri, Thongchai Wutthidetgrainggrai, Kiok Kwon
CITATION:
DOCKET NUMBER:
SOURCE:Lexis Search, News Article
TYPE OF CASE:Criminal
RELATED CASE CITATION:
TYPE OF TRIAL:Jury
TRIAL JUDGE(S):Lewis A. Kaplan
YEAR OF ARREST:1994
YEAR OF VERDICT:1995
TYPE OF COURT:Federal Court
STATE:New York
FEDERAL DISTRICT:Southern District Court
STATE COUNTY:
AGE OF VICTIM(S):Adult
NUMBER OF VICTIMS:25 +
GENDER OF VICTIM(S):Female
VICTIM'S COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Thailand
METHOD OF ENTRY INTO THE U.S.:Undocumented
WAS VICTIM CHARGED WITH A CRIME:Yes
NUMBER OF DEFENDANT(S):11
GENDER OF DEFENDANT(S):Male
TYPE OF INDUSTRY:Sex
CASE CATEGORIZATION:Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Prostitution, Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Prostitution (johns/other buyers)
FIRST CHARGE:Conspiracy to violate civil rights
FIRST CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 241
FIRST CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
FIRST CHARGE SENTENCE:
SECOND CHARGE:Involuntary Servitude
SECOND CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1584;18 U.S.C. § 2
SECOND CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
SECOND CHARGE SENTENCE:
THIRD CHARGE:Importing and Harboring Illegal Aliens for the Purpose of Prostitution
THIRD CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:8 U.S.C. § 1328; 18 U.S.C. § 2
THIRD CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
THIRD CHARGE SENTENCE:
FOURTH CHARGE:Prostitution Conspiracy
FOURTH CHARGE US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 371
FOURTH CHARGE VERDICT/PLEA:Guilty Verdict
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CORE TERMS:18 U.S.C. § 371; 8 U.S.C. § 1328; 18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. § 1584; 18 U.S.C. § 241
SENTENCING OPINION CITATION:
LENGTH OF GREATEST SENTENCE:108 + 36 supervised
RESTITUTION REQUIRED:
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FORFEITURE IMPOSED:
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TOTAL AWARD:
APPEAL:Yes
EXPLANATION OF APPEAL:Appealed Conviction, Appealed Sentence
APPELLATE OPINION CITATION:1997 U.S. App. LEXIS 1493; 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 13581
HOLDING OF APPEALS COURT:Affirm
APPEAL STILL PENDING?:
SUMMARY:Defendants operated a trafficking ring that prostituted women in New York City brothels. Defendants smuggled the victims into the United States from Thailand. Once here, the women were housed in a brothel and forced to engage in commercial sex to repay their smuggling debt. Evidence presented at sentencing hearings showed that the victims were housed in a guarded brothel, which they could not leave without supervision. Additionally, Defendants used threats of physical violence to coerce the victims. As the head of security at a brothel, Defendant Joseph was responsible for keeping the prostitutes under their captors control. He knew that the women were undocumented individuals smuggled into the United States and that their captors were forcing them to repay their smuggling debts through prostitution. Morales was found guilty by a federal jury. Other defendants accepted plea bargains. Defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit involuntary servitude and conspiracy to promote prostitution. Defendant Wattanasari was sentenced to 90 months' imprisonment and three years supervised release. Defendant Wuttidetgrienggrai was sentenced to 108 months imprisonment and three years supervised release. At least one of the victims was imprisoned for lying to federal prosecutors. When interviewed by investigations, some of the women falsely claimed that they did not realize prior to arriving in the United States that they would be working as prostitutes.
Approval Status:Approved
Approver Comments:
            
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