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The suit of a sex trafficking victim in Fairfax County, Virginia, the police are even more annoyed

A trafficking victim suing the Virginia police department has revised its complaint to state that a former detective was threatened with keeping a protective frame and major cover-up in silence.

According to the lawsuit, Fairfax County police officers let predators operate in exchange for free sexual services in a cover-up that went directly to the then sheriff. In one case, the lawsuit claims, a lieutenant threatened a detective who raised concerns, telling him to “keep [his] shut up and don’t utter the word ‘trafficking’ anymore. “

The Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department referred a request for comment on the allegations to the county, but did not respond to calls and emails from The Daily Beast.

The lawsuit was originally filed in October by a 43-year-old woman who said she was trafficked from Costa Rica in 2010 and forced into prostitution in Fairfax County until 2015. She alleges herself. was forced to give two local policemen. free services in exchange for information on when the department will conduct raids. An updated version of the complaint filed last week features the names of both officers, as well as additional allegations that the complaint comes from William Woolf, a former detective with the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Department.

Woolf did not respond to multiple calls and emails seeking comment, but the plaintiff’s attorney, Vic Glasberg, claims he spoke to police about his former department after filing the initial complaint.

“Honestly, I see him as a latter-day Serpico,” Glasberg said, referring to a prominent NYPD whistleblower.

During the time the plaintiffs were accused of human trafficking, the complaint says, Woolf was the only FCPD officer assigned to the Northern Virginia Anti-Trafficking in Persons Task Force, where the department had previously received payments. half a million dollars. According to the lawsuit, Woolf officers disregarded his work with trafficking victims, said they were not actual crime victims and looked down upon him as a “social worker”.

In 2014, Woolf’s supervisor, Michael Barbazette, began to show “significant interest” in Woolf’s work with victims of trafficking, asking for interviews and at times asking for a phone number. the victim’s cell phone, the lawsuit claims. At the same time, the lawsuit says, Barbazette began making Woolf’s job “significantly more difficult,” denying his travel requests, denying him overtime and demanding a detailed shipment report. date of his activities.

At one point, according to the lawsuit, Woolf complained to his supervisor about Barbazette’s conduct and about human trafficking victims, who said they were being exchanged with officers in exchange for protection from law enforcement. But Woolf’s supervisor, Captain James Baumstark, is said to have refused to help and ordered him to forget what he was told, saying: “I’m a lifeguard and you’re far from the brink of death drowning, and I won’t try to save. you.” (Baumstark did not return calls and emails seeking comment.)

The following year, Woolf was aggressively questioned by Lieutenant Vincent Scianna about flying to interview a sex trafficking witness, the lawsuit claims. It reported that Woolf claimed Scianna turned off the tape recorder he was using to record the meeting and asked, “You know what this really is, don’t you?” before giving the command “keep” [his] shut up” if he wants to continue working in law enforcement. “You have six children. You have to think about them,” added Scianna. (Scanna could not be reached for comment.)

Woolf agreed not to raise the issue of human trafficking and was placed in charge of child pornography and fugitive cases, according to the lawsuit. Two days later, Sheriff Edwin Roessler, who retired this year, called and said he wanted to make sure Woolf was “ready to play”. The suit says Woolf assured the sheriff that he was. (Roessler could not be reached for comment.)

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Sheriff Edwin Roessler retired in January.

Fairfax County Sheriff via Facebook

A few years later, the FBI began investigating the human trafficking ring that the plaintiff claimed she was a victim of. Many women have told the office similar stories to hers, saying they were lured from Costa Rica to Virginia under false pretexts and forced into prostitution. Some of the women allege the ringleader confiscated their travel documents and threatened to harm their families, according to a federal affidavit.

During their investigation, the FBI searched a cell phone used by the plaintiff and several other victims of human trafficking and found numbers belonging to Barbazette and another FCPD officer, Jason Mardocco, the suit said.

Mardocco did not respond to a request for comment and Barbazette was not reached. Neither was named in the original complaint, as the plaintiff said she did not know their names, but the police department identified them by subpoena, according to a separate court filing.

The ringleader of the human trafficking ring, Hazel Marie Sanchez Cerdas, eventually pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges and served a five-year sentence. In the meantime, the lawsuit claims, the FBI has referred the case to their Public Corruption Division to investigate Barbazette and Mardocco’s involvement. According to the lawsuit, the office eventually referred the corruption case to Fairfax police, which allegedly allowed officers to resign gently and maintain their pensions.

Woolf, meanwhile, resigned in 2017 and continues to serve as director of human trafficking programs for the Department of Justice and as a special adviser on human trafficking to the White House. He also founded his own anti-trafficking charity, Anti-Trafficking International, and is a senior fellow at America’s First Policy Institute, an advisory organization that works with veterans of the administration Trump.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/sex-trafficking-victims-suit-against-fairfax-county-virginia-cops-just-got-more-disturbing?source=articles&via=rss The suit of a sex trafficking victim in Fairfax County, Virginia, the police are even more annoyed

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