It’s often difficult, if not impossible, for victims of human sex trafficking to receive the restitution they deserve — even if the traffickers have been convicted of the crime. But thanks to the work of Stout, one human sex trafficking victim received restitution of $480,000 — the largest amount earned by the five victims in this particular case to which restitution was awarded.
Stout’s client was only 15 when she met a man in Mexico and entered what she thought was a relationship with him. But as it turned out, he duped her into being part of a sex trafficking ring, which she finally escaped at age 16. By then, though, she had lost her opportunity to complete her schooling, suffered emotional trauma and had her earning ability significantly diminished. Plus, because she was smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico under the guise of coming to the country with her boyfriend, she is still working toward her legal status as a U.S. citizen.
The standard formula for calculating restitution doesn’t go far enough to deliver satisfactory results for victims, so Stout developed a more robust analysis of the full extent of the client’s economic losses. Because this was the largest sex trafficking case in the U.S. to have gone to a jury verdict to date, Stout’s work will set a precedent to help future victims earn restitution that more fairly compensates them for their losses.
Robert Levine, the Stout expert that led this engagement, noted:
"It was a powerful experience to listen to the victims give their victim impact statements to describe what happened to them,” Levine says. “I’m happy that we were able to assist counsel in helping this young woman get at least some degree of restitution for the harm that was done to her."