A pedophile sex slave ring has been busted in Minnesota. The prosecution revealed that three Muslim gangs called the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws were forcing teenage girls into prostitution and operated in St. Paul, Minneapolis; Columbus, and Nashville.
More than two dozen defendants are involved in a federal trial, they are accused of involvement in a sex trafficking ring run by Somali Muslim gangs. The case is being complicated by cultural issues within the Somali Muslim refugee communities in Minnesota and Tennessee. Defense attorneys argued that the defendants, many of whom are refugees from Somalia, were juveniles at the time the alleged crimes occurred.
The trial was delayed last week when prosecutors turned over thousands of documents and audio recordings from the investigation to defense attorneys on the eve of trial. This was after the trial selected a jury. Both defense attorneys and federal prosecutors have repeatedly declined to comment about the case.
The prosecution was originally unsealed in 2010 and amended by a superseding indictment in 2011, says the defendants, many of them from the Somali Muslim immigrant communities in Minneapolis and Nashville, were members or associates of the three gangs. Four unidentified victims, some of who were under the age of 14, are listed in the indictment.
The gangs are accused of finding and recruiting young girls for the purpose of prostitution in exchange for money and drugs, of the 30 individuals listed in the indictment, only 14 are going to trial this month in Nashville on charges of conspiracy to commit sexual trafficking of children by force, fraud or coercion and charges related to the sexual trafficking. Many of the individuals have remained in federal custody since their arrests.
Jane Doe has been working with Smith in the case, Doe said testifying against other Somali Muslims will be very difficult for the victim, but she wants to have her voice heard. Smith reported that Jane Doe wants to have her story known and she wants to speak in public.
Majority, but not all the defendants, are described as refugees who came to the United States as young children. The police have relied on immigration paperwork to determine their ages, but defense attorneys have argued in court that information in those documents are routinely incorrect due to cultural and language issues. The courts in Minnesota, have seen similar issues in cases where defendants or victims are Somali Muslims.