The U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, upheld Robinson’s
conviction and sentence in November 2012.97
The district court’s acknowledgment of the gravity of
Robinson’s actions illustrates the distinct horrific nature of domestic
minor sex trafficking cases and the importance of harsh penalties for
traffickers. This case demonstrates that when courts are given
statutory provisions that provide for severe punishments for
traffickers, courts will impose them to the fullest extent. In addition,
the district court’s denial of Robinson’s defense that he believed the
victim was over eighteen years of age suggests that mistake of age is
not a valid defense to the crime of domestic minor sex trafficking
under the TVPA.
2. United States v. Evans
The TVPA does not require transportation of a child victim
between states for a successful prosecution of a domestic sex
trafficking case. In 2007, U.S. v. Evans was the first intrastate
domestic sex trafficking case prosecuted under the TVPA.98 Thus,
U.S. v. Evans substantiated Congress’s power to govern solely local
trafficking actions through the TVPA.
Justin Evans (“Evans”) and two co-defendants were indicted
on charges, including child sex trafficking (18 U.S.C. § 1591(a)(1))
and coercion of a minor to engage in prostitution (18 U.S.C. §
2422(b)).99 From December 2004 to May 2005, Evans arranged
“dates”100 for a fourteen-year-old girl who worked for him as a
prostitute.101 The young victim would give Evans all the money that
98 See SMITH ET AL., supra note 12, at 15.
99 Evans, 476 F.3d at 1177. The U.S. Code sections, 18 U.S.C.A. § 2422(b) (West
2013) and 18 U.S.C.A. § 1591(a)(1) (West 2013), require separate and distinct
interstate commerce elements to be satisfied for successful prosecution. In U.S. v.
Evans, the U.S. Court of Appeals’ reasoning regarding the fulfillment of these
interstate commerce elements by relatively local actions legitimized Congress’s
power to regulate intrastate domestic sex trafficking.
100 “Date” hereinafter refers to the meeting of a victim and a buyer that is
coordinated by the trafficker where the buyer pays value for the commercial sexual
exploitation of the victim.
101 See Evans, 476 F.3d at 1177.