A federal jury in Charlotte has found 33-year-old Tawaan Batten guilty of a heinous crime involving the trafficking of a vulnerable 15-year-old girl. The trial, which lasted three days, concluded with Batten being convicted of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking of a minor, and transportation of a minor with the intent to engage in commercial sexual activity.
The details that emerged during the trial were nothing short of horrifying. Batten, in collaboration with 33-year-old Kristi Heather King, orchestrated a sinister operation that involved advertising the young girl on commercial sex websites and booking hotel rooms for sexual encounters. But that was not all. Batten went to extreme lengths to control the girl’s mind, branding her with tattoos as a means of asserting dominance and ensuring her compliance.
The victim, who turned to Batten out of desperation, found herself trapped in a nightmarish world of exploitation and abuse. Batten shamelessly profited from her suffering, keeping most of the money she earned for himself. It is a stark reminder of the depths to which some individuals will sink for personal gain.
U.S. Attorney Dena King, who played a pivotal role in bringing Batten to justice, expressed her outrage at the heinous crimes committed against the young girl. She stated, “Batten took advantage of a vulnerable 15-year-old girl who turned to him out of desperation and exploited her in the worst way – for profit.”
The sentencing date for Batten is yet to be scheduled, but he faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars. Meanwhile, Kristi Heather King, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sex traffic the girl, also awaits her sentencing.
This case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking and protect the most vulnerable members of our society. The FBI, in collaboration with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, played a crucial role in investigating this disturbing case. Their dedication and commitment to justice are commendable.
As the community grapples with the aftermath of this shocking revelation, it is imperative that we remain vigilant and continue to support initiatives aimed at eradicating human trafficking. The scars left on the victim, both physical and emotional, serve as a haunting reminder of the urgent need for action.
The conviction of Tawaan Batten is a step in the right direction, but there is still much work to be done to protect the innocent and bring an end to the horrors of human trafficking.