Man faces life in child sex trafficking case - - Jackson, MS

Man sentenced to 23 years for child sex trafficking

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Jemery Hodges has been sentenced to 23 years, two months in Federal prison for sexually assaulting a five-year-old girl and making a video of the attack. The girl was originally believed to be three or four years old.

Jemery Atral Hodges, who is 26, pleaded guilty in June to two counts - child sex trafficking and the production of child pornography. U.S. District Judge David Bramlette combined the two counts for the sentence.

Carol Stern, Executive Board Member of the non-profit group Advocates for Freedom, was present during sentencing. She says Hodges and another man, Marco Laquin Rogers, drove the child from Memphis to a motel room in Jackson in May 2012. They told a relative of the girl they were taking her to a birthday party. In the motel room, the two assaulted the child. According to Judge Bramlette, the videotape revealed "masochistic conduct". Stern says Hodges was arrested after showing the videotape to a friend in Massachusetts, where he lived.

Rogers went to trial on the same charges and was convicted by a jury on September 11. His sentencing date is December 12.

Stern says it's the first human trafficking case to be adjudicated in Mississippi since the human trafficking law took effect July 1.

"This child will be impacted for the rest of her life, but her mother is going to seek counseling and do everything she can do to heal the child," Stern tells us, adding that parents need to be aware and take steps to protect their children. "We live in a society where we're accustomed to being safe in our homes, on our streets, sadly that's not the case any longer. These children are victims, there are predators out there."

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