Man convicted of contempt in Somali sex trafficking case
- Article by: SHEILA BURKE
- Associated Press
- April 17, 2013 - 9:23 PM
NASHVILLE – A man who repeatedly refused to testify in a sex trafficking case involving alleged Somali gang members in Minnesota and other states has been convicted by a federal jury of contempt and obstruction charges.
The jury in Nashville on Wednesday convicted Abdullahi Farah of misbehaving before the court, contempt of court and attempt to obstruct the enforcement of sex trafficking laws.
“He agreed that he had material information on the ongoing sex trafficking case, but he still refused to testify against the other defendants,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Van Vincent said.
Farah, who is also known as Grey Goose, will be sentenced later. He is faces a maximum of life in prison, Vincent said.
His lawyer could not be immediately reached for comment.
In 2010, about 30 people were accused of being involved in a wide-ranging conspiracy involving Somali gangs alleged to have trafficked children in Minnesota, Ohio and Tennessee.
The government wanted Farah to testify in the case when nine of the defendants went on trial last year, but Farah refused.
Afterward U.S. District Judge Todd Campbell sentenced him to serve four months of imprisonment for contempt.
Six of the nine defendants were acquitted by a jury. In December, a federal judge overturned the convictions of the remaining three saying the government failed to prove the men were part of a single, overarching conspiracy. The government is appealing the judge’s decision.
But additional defendants are facing trials, and federal prosecutors still want Farah’s testimony.
Farah was ordered to give testimony in a deposition that could be used against other defendants in any upcoming trials. He was indicted and ordered to go to trial after refusing to give the deposition testimony.
During last year’s trial, a victim identified as Jane Doe Two said that she was used as a prostitute in the Minneapolis area starting at age 12. Defendants have supplied new evidence suggesting she was older and lied about her age.
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