Alvarez, Belizaire and Alexander
Back in January the Orlando, Florida, Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation arrested Rodney Alexander, Tiffany Belizaire and Jose Alvarez on human trafficking charges. The trio are accused of prostituting a woman on Backpage against her will.
Again for those of you who still believe the consenting adult myth…
“Immediately they took advantage of her addiction to cocaine and started posing her on Backpage and forcing her to prostitute,” MBI Lt. Mike Gibson said.
“It got so bad at one point, they actually tied her up with sheets and dog collars and dog chains and held her captive inside closets,” Gibson said.
According to investigators’ documents, the victim was forced to work as a prostitute every day, walking the streets and responding to online ads posted on Backpage. She said the alleged ringleader, Alexander, punched her, and threatened to torture her with power tools and a curling iron on days when she made only $50.
Yet Backpage insists they’re part of the solution. Much like I used to say about craigslist you can’t be both the problem and the solution. What was once the craigslist conundrum is now the Backpage Paradox.
This week the Florida Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for David Sparre. Sparre was convicted in the brutal 2010 stabbing death of 21-year-old Tiara Pool. Sparre had met his victim through the casual encounters section of craigslist in Jacksonville, Florida. The pair had sex before Sparre stabbed her almost 90 times. Sparre was convicted and then sentenced to death for Tiara’s murder. After his sentencing Sparre sent a letter to his ex-girlfriend bragging about how he enjoyed killing Tiara. So it came as a surprise to me that an appeal of his death sentence was even being entertained.
During his trial and penalty phase Sparre instructed his attorney, Chief Assistant Public Defender Refik Eler, to not present any evidence in his defense. Eler, who said Sparre was guilty of second-degree murder but didn’t deserve the death penalty, planned to introduce evidence he was mentally unbalanced and abused drugs and alcohol since he was 11.
But Sparre reiterated his instructions to Circuit Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt, who ruled that Eler couldn’t present the evidence against his wishes.
On appeal Tallahassee Public Defender Nada Carey argued that Senterfitt abused her discretion by not considering all the evidence that would have kept Sparre off Death Row. She said it didn’t matter that Sparre didn’t want it brought up.
In Thursday’s unanimous Supreme Court ruling the justices said that in cases where a death-penalty defendant declined to offer a defense, the judge was required to order a comprehensive pre-sentence investigation into the that defendant’s background. That was done in Sparre’s case, with the investigation addressing his physical and mental health.
So that brings Sparre one step closer to the needle which will be infinitely more merciful than the death of Tiara Pool, a mother of one who still had her whole life in front of her. It’s too bad they won’t be able to lunge the needle into him 90 times. Hell, by the time his execution date would have rolled around I’m the country will have lost its nerve on killing monsters like Sparre.
Justin Robert Muoio
There’s been a story making the rounds in the ‘strange news’ websites. It’s been on FARK and I’ve heard it on several morning radio shows. It’s the story about how 32-year-old Justin Robert Muoio of the Miami area prostituted a pregnant woman on craigslist to ‘fetishists’.
Muoio is accused of turning out the woman since 2009 and once she became pregnant he didn’t allow that to interfere with his money-making. Police say that he also kept all of her money and would frequently keep her imprisoned and even had his mother keep watch on her.
Unfortunately stories like this are not as unusual or strange as you might expect. Women like this are frequently forced into prostitution every day on craigslist and Backpage and never make the news and yes sometimes they are pregnant.
At least hopefully this story can help shed light on the plight of all victims of sex trafficking and that it still exists on craigslist.
24-year-old Maurice Williams was arrested in Sarasota, Florida for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old girl on Backpage. Not surprisingly the girl claimed that Williams was her boyfriend. A lot of traffickers and pimps will tell underage girls that so that they’ll work for them. Also not surprising was that Williams was aware of her age.
What did surprise me is that the 16-year-old girl told police that she had been using Backpage for a couple of years. So since she was at least 14 she has been put on Backpage. That means for multiple years an underage girl or her traffickers have been getting around Backpage’s supposed screening measures for multiple years. That makes Backpage’s claims of the millions of ads they don’t post laughable.
At least one good thing comes from this…
The juvenile, who was reported a missing runaway out of Hillsborough County two months ago, met with representatives from Selah Freedom, a local organization that helps victims of human trafficking.
I’ve contacted the Selah Freedom folks for their opinion on Backpage considering there are some organizations who fight human trafficking who appear to be in Backpage’s pocket.
UPDATE 1/9/2015: I corresponded with a representative from Selah Freedom recently and they do not appear to be fans of Backpage.
Everyone’s favorite anonymous webcam chat site is back in the news again. 29-year-old Marckenson Chery, of North Lauderdale, Florida, was recently sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for having explicit web cam shows with a 15-year-old girl. Chery met the girl on Omegle and continued the shows using Skype.
Now here’s why I keep saying that parents should be aware of what apps are on their kids’ phones, tablets and PC’s…
By the time the girl’s father became suspicious and confiscated her phone about two months later, the girl had already participated in several video-sex sessions.
Her dad printed out “approximately 143 pages” of sexually explicit online chats between the girl and Chery.
Not to mention that once a picture or video hits the internet you can never get it back. I hope that in this case that Chey doesn’t like to share.
This story also answers a question that brings some curious folk to this site. Not only can you be arrested for using Omegle with underage kids you can also go to jail for it for a very long time.
Chad Richard Hurst
Back in late October, 30-year-old Chad Richard Hurst was arrested in Jacksonville, Florida and is believed to have stabbed 28-year-old Jennalee Miles to death after arranging a ‘date’ with his victim on Backpage. Hurst is also charged with stabbing another woman from Backpage who escaped.
I’m sure Liz McDougall and Backpage just think that Hurst was exercising his right to display his knife skills.
Taylor and Coleman
One of the arguments I keep hearing in defense of Backpage and their ads for prostitution is that the girls are safer online than they are on the streets. But are they really?
Police in Tampa, Florida, have arrested 19-year-old Ikeem Alonzo Taylor and 20-year-old Corey Terrell Coleman for the alleged rape and robbery of two women who were advertising on Backpage as escorts. Taylor is said to have raped and robbed the women and gunpoint while Coleman acted as his driver.
It sounds like these women may have been ‘independent contractors’ but God forbid if either of them had pimps. Do you think that the pimps would care if they lost money because they were raped? If anything they’d probably face additional violence from the pimp and this is the cycle of violence that Backpage perpetuates by keeping the adult section open. It’s not free speech that Backpage is really worried about, it’s their blood money.
Police in Boynton Beach, Florida, have recently arrested 38-year-old Julian Ryals for allegedly brutally assaulting a woman he met on the casual encounters section of craigslist. The victim states that the pair had consensual sex and when it was over Ryals refused to let her leave, tied her up, choked her and hit her and tied her up again after she broke free of her bonds. The victim eventually escaped and was able to call 911. Ryals is then accused of stealing the woman’s car. He also has a lengthy rap sheet that include charges of domestic violence and battery.
People, people, people. How many times do I have to say it? Craigslist is not the place to meet people for anything let alone casual sex. I’m not victim blaming here because ultimately the blame lies with the perpetrator however, male or female, you need to be smarter than this. The majority of men on craigslist looking for casual sex are dregs and a lot of them are looking for nothing more than victims. Think, don’t let yourself become a victim.
When I was a teenager I tried to kill myself, twice. I was being bullied at school and my dad was abusing my mom at home. I had no refuge, no escape. I know now that I suffer from depression and I’ve gotten help for it. I would never consider it again. Only because of my brother catching me during both attempts that I’m able to type these words today. I was afraid if I had told my father that I was suicidal that something like the following would happen.
In Osceola County, Florida, a 13-year-old boy is said to have told his father that he was feeling suicidal. Instead of getting his son help 44-year-old Michael Yatsko allegedly gave his son a .45 and urged him to kill himself.
When the teen said he wanted to kill himself, Yatsko allegedly went into the boy’s bedroom, threw the handgun on the bed and told him, “Do it. Kill yourself. I don’t really care.”
Police were initially called to the home on physical abuse allegations. Yatsko also allegedly told police that he did it because his son was ‘acting cowardly’. I would too if I had a violent psychopath for a father. I did , but that’s beside the point.
Luckily the gun was said to have been unloaded.
This is part of what’s wrong in society today. Thoughts of suicide are a mental health issue. Too many troglodytes like this assclown think that it’s a sign of weakness or cowardice. It is none of those things. You didn’t necessarily fail as a parent if one of your children is suicidal but this one obviously did.
If you are a teen or you know a teen who is suicidal there are places you can reach out to help like ReachOut.com or you can call their help line at 1-800-448-3000
In Florida police recently arrested 25-year-old Jose Alcedes Ojeda and 18-year-old Kristi Lynn Haney for allegedly prostituting a 16-year-old runaway girl on Backpage. This is said to have occurred in Daytona Beach and Orlando. The girl’s father is said to have notified police about his daughter being used in a Backpage ad which saw the girl explicitly posing while the ad claimed she was 19.
If that’s not enough the victim had to have sex with 10 men in a day (paid child rape) and had to give the money she made to Ojeda who made her say ‘Here you go Daddy’ when giving him the money. Ick. Ojeda reportedly used the money to ply the girl with cocaine. That’s one of the oldest tricks of pimps and traffickers. They get these girls hooked on drugs in order to keep them working for the traffickers.
I guess the victim’s ad, and she is a victim, wasn’t one of the millions of ads that Backpage claims to delete.