July 16, Orlando, FL
Three men were charged with human trafficking of an underage girl in Osceola County yesterday.
Timothy White contacted the teen through social media and eventually convinced her to run away from the group foster home where she lived in Tampa. She ran away and met White at a model in Central Florida where he took photographs of her and posted ads for sex with the minor on Facebook and other social media sites.
The Osceola Sherrif’s Office learned of the missing child’s whereabouts in May and coordinated with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation and FBI to recover the young girl. We are so grateful for their quick action as she was recovered at an Orlando hotel on May 31.
While law enforcement was able to get her out of the terrible situation, she had already been exploited by at least two men. Christopher Jackson and Steven Ramos are accused of being customers who paid White to sexually exploit the young girl. Both men are charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor as well as human trafficking. They are both out on bail but are not allowed to be alone with any minor, including their own children.
Both claimed not to know the age of the victim; however, under Florida state law, perpetrators do not need to know a victim’s age to be tried for human trafficking.
State Attorney Aramis Ayala couldn’t be more clear. She said, “If you engage in prostitution, you will be prosecuted. If you are engaging in prostitution of underage children, you will be tried as a human trafficker and hopefully sentenced to the rest of your life in prison.”
Timothy White faces charges of human trafficking, transporting for the purpose of prostitution and deriving support from the proceeds of prostitution.
Stay tuned for more in this story as the court proceedings unfold.