Pimp Damion Baston has been convicted of sex trafficking in the US, but his lawyer says the Australian and NZ women he exploited are not sexual victims.
A US lawyer defending a violent pimp who forced Australian, New Zealand and US women into being high-end prostitutes has described the victims as “extroverted women highly motivated by sexual lusts”.
Damion St Patrick Baston, a 37-year-old Jamaican nightclub dancer, music producer and self-described entrepreneur, faces life in jail when he appears before a judge in Miami, Florida, on September 29.
A jury took just six hours after a two-week trial in July to find Baston guilty of 21 charges, including sex trafficking through means of force, fraud and coercion and the importation of an alien for prostitution.
His sex slaves, two Australian women, one New Zealander and three Americans, testified as prosecution witnesses at the Miami trial.
In a bid to sway Judge Cecilia Altonaga to sentence Baston to a prison term lower than the minimum mandatory 15 years, Baston’s lawyer David Rowe described the victims as “non-chaste women, fully acquainted with escort services and the bawdiness of dancing in exotic nightclubs”.
“These women are not sexual victims,” Rowe wrote in a sentencing motion.
“They are extroverted women highly motivated by sexual lusts, and, by nature, lie, play and deceive.”
Prosecutors told the jury Baston beat, threatened and raped the women and kept the hundreds of thousands of dollars they made as prostitutes.
Baston’s pimping began on Queensland’s Gold Coast, but led to the Middle East and the US.
One of the Australian victims, known in court as KL, met Baston in 2011 in a Gold Coast restaurant, a relationship blossomed, but then Baston used violence to force her into prostitution.
Rowe painted another picture.
“The defendant became highly intoxicated with KL, who, in turn found the stud of her dreams,” the lawyer wrote.
Rowe described KL as the “brainchild” of their Gold Coast prostitution service, Bachelors Club.
The other Australian victim, TJM, was 18 when she met Baston at a party in Queensland in 2009 and they married in an Islamic ceremony in 2010.
In 2011, he was prostituting TJM and KL out of several Gold Coast rental properties.
Baston also took KL to Dubai in 2011 where she made large sums of cash as a prostitute and then they travelled to Miami, Florida, where he continued to pimp her.
Prosecutors said Baston kept the hundreds of thousands of dollars the women made and would then show off the cash with Instagram photos of his $250,000 bank balance and $75,000 diamond-studded watch.
Rowe said Baston was also a product of the treatment of male slaves in Jamaica in the 17th and 18th Century.
“Sociologically, the defendant is another product of the antecedent Jamaican mores in which strong, healthy, black males were alienated from families and used as studs to breed African slaves,” he wrote.