Leon Jerome Daniels, age 29, has been found guilty on 17 counts related to the trafficking of three females–two adults and one minor–for sex around the time of the 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix. The charges included counts of child prostitution for causing the minor to engage in prostitution, receiving the earnings from a minor engaged in prostitution, transporting a minor with the intent that she engage in prostitution and sexual conduct with a minor.
Daniels was also charged with transporting the adult females for prostitution, compelling, inducing or encouraging them to engage in acts of prostitution, and receiving the earnings from their acts of prostitution.
Kathleen Winn Executive Director of AZMen and Co-Chairman/Secretary of the Arizona Anti- Trafficking Network stated, “We are happy that those exploiting women and children in a rape for profit business are being prosecuted and sentenced. We applaud the courage of the victims who although being intimidated by the defendant choose to come forward and identify him. Finally we must seek to end the use of Backpage.com as a facilitation of the sale of human beings for sex. This is the fastest growing criminal enterprise worldwide, interrupting it should become everyone’s mission”
On January 30, 2015, the defendant brought three girls from California to Arizona to engage in prostitution. He told them that the trip would be a way make a lot of money since the Super Bowl was going to be held in the Valley at the time.
He would drive the girls to prostitution “dates,” take their earnings, post advertisements for them on www.Backpage.com and had strict “rules” to follow. He made them check in with him during their dates with the “Johns,” told them how much to charge, and controlled who they talked to. He also had sexual intercourse with the 17-year-old minor victim and was verbally and physically abusive with an adult victim with whom he had a child in common.
The defendant did everything in his power to dissuade his victims from coming to court or testifying against him. He represented himself through much of the trial, and cross examined the victims himself. It was after all the victims appeared and identified him in court that he requested to have an attorney represent him. The State presented recordings of his calls from jail at trial in which the defendant talked about getting the victims not to appear for court or convincing them to not identify him if they did appear in court.
Sentencing in this matter is scheduled for July 1, 2016. The defendant faces an absolute minimum of 149.25 years in prison and a potential term of 235 years.