United States District Court Judge C. Darnell Jones, II, handed down a sentence of 100 years in federal prison to Kevino Graham for his perpetration of two counts of sex trafficking by force and one count of attempted sex trafficking by force on December 6th, 2017. Graham initially entered a guilty plea along with three other co-defendants, Raffael Robinson, Brian Wright , and Renato Teixeira in 2016, but was later found guilty by a jury after a trial. According to evidence presented at the sentencing, the four men operated a “house of horrors”, where over fifty young women were trafficked through means of force and were sadistically tortured by the defendants, namely Graham who was clearly in charge of the enterprise.
During Graham’s sentencing, which he decided to proceed with pro se, Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Morgan painted a grim picture of the house of horrors Graham had created. Morgan only shared a handful of the traumatic instances presented at the jury trial, each more barbaric and shocking than the last. Morgan explained to Judge Jones that these acts were not only disgusting and inhumane, but that they were the acts of a sadist. She read the definition of a sadist (“a person who derives pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain or humiliation on others”) and highlighted that the defendant admitted to sexual arousal from torturing the numerous victims in this case. Even when Graham had the opportunity to speak during the hearing, he showed no remorse for his actions. Instead, Graham tried to argue about nonexistent technicalities, claiming that the statute he was charged under did not cover the crimes he was found guilty of.
While Assistant U.S. Attorney Morgan requested the judge impose a life sentence for the defendant, Judge Jones decided on one technically more lenient. He explained that in his time as a homicide division judge for the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, he had presided over numerous murder trials, yet, he stated that the acts perpetrated by Graham were some of the most gruesome and horrible things he had ever dealt with. Judge Jones, taking Graham’s age of 36 into consideration, sentenced him to 100 years in prison.
The CSE Institute congratulates Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Morgan for her successful prosecution of this case along with the brave survivors and their families for their testimony and strength to stand up and share their story against the cruelty of their traffickers, including Graham. The CSE Institute hopes that cases like Kevino Graham’s sends a message to traffickers that their inhumane acts have serious consequences that can last beyond their lifetime. The CSE Institute also hopes this case sends a message to all victims of trafficking that justice is possible and we will support you, stand by you, and help amplify your voices.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.