A US prosecutor says a Jamaican pimp who based himself in Queensland maintains his innocence despite a US jury finding him guilty in just six hours.
Violent pimp Damion Baston should spend the rest of his life in jail for forcing Australian, New Zealand and US women into prostitution with beatings, threats and torture, prosecutors have told a judge in Florida.
Baston will be sentenced by Judge Cecilia Altonaga in the US District Court in Miami on Monday.
The 37-year-old Jamaican wannabe music producer based himself on Queensland’s Gold Coast and was a devotee of the how-to book Pimpology.
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.
Baston’s lawyer, David Rowe, has asked the judge for a 10 to 12.5 year sentence.
However, assistant US attorney Olivia Choe argued Baston “prostituted multiple women for his own profit, using physical and sexual violence and psychological coercion” and should receive the maximum life sentence.
“He continues to deny what the jury resoundingly found: that he knowingly recruited and enticed his victims, knowing that brutal force and coercion would be used to make them engage in prostitution,” Choe told the judge.
Baston’s lawyer described one of the Australian victims, known in court as KL, as the brainchild of his Gold Coast escort business and Baston was “the stud of her dreams”.
“These are not sexual victims,” Rowe wrote in his sentencing motion.
“They are extroverted women highly motivated by sexual lusts, and, by nature, lie, play and deceive.”
Another Australian victim, TJM, was aged 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 together out of several rental properties on the Gold Coast and then took KL to Dubai and Miami to work as a high-end prostitute, making hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Baston kept the cash for himself and boasted about his wealth with Instagram photos of his $250,000 bank balance and $75,000 diamond-studded watch.