A former police chief and three other ex-cops in Fairfax County, Virginia are facing charges for allegedly keeping a sex trafficking ring under wraps and have additionally been accused by a victim of funding the organized prostitution they allegedly allowed to function.
A woman identified as “Jane Doe” gave testimony to a federal jury in Alexandria this week in which she discussed four former members of the Fairfax County Police Department: former Chief Edwin Roessler, former captain now-turned Ashville, North Carolina deputy chief James Baumstark, and officers Michael Barbazette and Jason Mardocco, FOX 5 DC reports.
Sex-trafficking trial involving high-ranking Asheville police officer begins in Virginia | WLOS https://t.co/TpiELXC7vN
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According to the woman’s testimony, she was tricked into leaving Costa Rica for Virginia by Hazel Sanchez with the promise that she would be given work as a nanny and high-end escort who would accompany wealthy clients but would not be forced to engage in intercourse. An admittance of guilt entered by Sanchez in 2019 revealed that this was not the case, with women being forced into numerous heinous acts, according to his plea.
Sanchez was given 2.5 years in prison after she confessed to managing “unlawful prostitution activity.” She also reportedly stole the passports of five women and attempted to scare them from seeking justice by promising to contact US immigration officials should they not grovel to her commands.
The lawsuit claims that the retired Fairfax police chief and three officers safeguarded a human trafficking ring working in northern Virginia before it was raided by the FBI in 2019.
“They had to protect us,” Doe said of the officers, per the Washington Post. “They had to not be the clients. They didn’t have to protect the Hazel ring.”
The lawyer representing Baumstark and Roessler, Kimberly P. Baucom, asserted her clients were only put into the lawsuit after it gained notoriety, arguing, “there isn’t a shred of physical evidence” connecting them to the case, according to the Post.
“The claim that either Mr. Roessler or Mr. Baumstark were somehow involved in a sex-trafficking organization is preposterous. It’s made up of whole cloth. It’s simply false,” Baucom said to the jury.
Should the alleged offenses be true, there is likely a good chance justice will be served—reports indicate Virginia is one of the most aggressive states in prosecuting human trafficking.