Left Behind: How the Absence of a Federal Vacatur Law Disadvantages Survivors of Human Trafficking

16 U. Md. L.J. Race, Religion, Gender & Class 239 (2017).

University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-01

20 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2017 Last revised: 11 Jan 2018

See all articles by Jessica Emerson

Jessica Emerson

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Alison Aminzadeh

The Law Offices of Jobeth R. Bowers

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

After a hamstring injury in October of 2004 forced her to surrender her athletic scholarship at St. John’s University, Shamere McKenzie chose to spend her winter break working in order to save the money she needed to pay the remainder of her tuition. In January of 2005, Shamere met a man named Corey Davis, who expressed an interest in dating her. After getting to know him for several weeks, she eventually shared with him the challenges she was having earning the money she needed to continue her enrollment in college. Davis encouraged her to consider exotic dancing as a way to earn quick money, and told her he would act as her protection from the men in the clubs. Desperate to return to school and put at ease by Davis’s charming and intelligent demeanor, Shamere accepted his offer.

Shamere became even more convinced of the sincerity of Davis’s promises after making $300 in less than two hours on her first night in a New Jersey strip club. Energized by the prospect of making the money she needed far more quickly than she had anticipated, Shamere accepted Davis’s offer to travel from the club to a house party in Brooklyn where she could earn additional income by dancing for the men in attendance. When one of the men at the house requested a sex act from her, Shamere spoke harshly to him, which Davis overheard. Instead of protecting her as she expected he would, Davis pulled Shamere to the side and demanded she do as the man requested. When she protested, Davis told her that if she tried to leave, he’d make sure she never made it out alive. Later that night, he threatened to kill Shamere’s family if she disobeyed him again, then choked her to the point of unconsciousness.

Keywords: Human Trafficking, Sex Work, Criminal Law, Criminal Records, Post-Conviction Relief, Federal Law, Federal Vacatur Law, Criminal Justice, State Law

JEL Classification: K00, K14, K49

Suggested Citation

Emerson, Jessica and Aminzadeh, Alison, Left Behind: How the Absence of a Federal Vacatur Law Disadvantages Survivors of Human Trafficking (2017). 16 U. Md. L.J. Race, Religion, Gender & Class 239 (2017). ; University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2018-01. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3000457

Jessica Emerson (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
(410) 837-4566 (Phone)
(410) 837-4776 (Fax)

Alison Aminzadeh

The Law Offices of Jobeth R. Bowers ( email )

224 East Main Street
Elkton, MD 21921
United States

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