Moral Low Ground

US Government

Fresno Pimp Maurice Dwayne Hunt Out of Control in Federal Court Before Guilty Trafficking Verdict

A California pimp who showed up in court dressed only in his underwear erupted in a wild outburst on Friday before a jury found him guilty of child sex trafficking.

Maurice Dwayne Hunt, who acted as his own attorney, was found guilty in a Fresno federal district court of sexually trafficking a 13-year-old girl. The previous day, KFSN reported Hunt cursed out the judge, leading to an early end to court proceedings. On Friday, things got even worse when the defendant appeared in court in a wheelchair, dressed only in his underwear. Security officers draped clothing over Hunt, who then proceeded to repeatedly interrupt proceedings. He was removed from the courtroom prior to the delivery of the guilty verdict.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour before convicting Hunt of six felony charges of sex trafficking of a minor, obstruction of justice and witness tampering. He will be sentenced in late October and faces between 45 years and life in prison.

Hunt is the first person ever to be tried in federal court in Fresno for child sex trafficking, the Fresno Bee reports.

Prosecutors Elana Landau and Michael Frye said Hunt forced the 13-year-old girl to have sex with various men in the fall of 2011 and kept all her earnings. He beat her when she tried to escape and return home. In his opening statement, Hunt claimed he didn’t know his victim was a minor and that he wasn’t a trafficker, merely a “ladies’ man” who never touched the girl or forced her into prostitution. He called himself a victim of a police frame-up.

“I’m not an angel, but I didn’t do this,” insisted Hunt, who told the jury his criminal record included drug possession, auto theft and false imprisonment.

“Sex trafficking, that’s not me.”

But the jury found that it was him.

“This case highlights the severe abuse and control that vulnerable children are often subjected to when they fall victim to violent predators like Hunt,” Manuel Alvarez Jr, the acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Sacramento division, told the Bee. “Our goal is to give the victims a fighting chance at a normal life and bring to justice the violent predators who target the children of the communities we serve.”

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