Judge overturns 3 lone convictions in Somali sex-trafficking case

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 7:27pm

At the conclusion of a weeks-long trial in May, a federal jury in Nashville found three out of nine defendants guilty of charges stemming from a massive indictment on alleged sex-trafficking charges included up to 30 people.

But federal Judge William J. Haynes Jr. nullified the jury’s decision in part on Wednesday, issuing an order to acquit Idris Fahra, 25, Andrew Kayachith, 22, and Yassin Yusuf, 22, of the charges against them.

Haynes granted the defendants’ motions to acquit due to the government’s charge of a single conspiracy. Defense attorneys for Fahra, Kayachith and Yusuf successfully argued that the government’s indictment — which covered a decade of alleged illegal actions — constituted multiple conspiracies.

“It is necessary to show that each alleged member agreed to participate in what he knew to be a collective venture directed toward a common goal,” Haynes wrote in a memorandum, citing case law from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit.

Haynes’ memorandum also addressed concerns about the veracity of testimony from one of the alleged victims, Jane Doe 2. Before the trial, the government dropped all charges related to victim Jane Doe 1, which raised questions about Jane Doe 2.

The government originally argued that Jane Doe 2 had been a minor during the alleged sex trafficking. She testified at trial that her birth date was in 1996, according to court filings. Defense attorneys, however, found several pieces of evidence, including testimony from relatives, that stated Jane Doe 2 was actually born in 1990 or 1991.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office could appeal Haynes’ decision on the motions to the 6th Circuit Court. If the court rules in favor of the appeals, Yusuf, Kayachith and Fahra would then be entitled to new trials.

Several defendants who were severed from the main case and transferred to a separate one are still awaiting trial.

13 Comments on this post:

By: jonw on 12/20/12 at 9:47

Federal Judge William J. Haynes Jr strikes again. Judicary run amuk.

By: Kelliente on 12/20/12 at 11:04

It's times like this that I wonder if our judicial code is broken, riddled with too many technicalities to make the dispensation of justice accurate and expedient. It seems that the judge was doing what was proper in terms of what the law dictates, but I'm not sure it's what was right. New trials (and separate trials for all the other defendants) will be lengthy and costly, and thinking about throwing out testimony because one of the victims may have either lied or been innocently ignorant about her own age doesn't seem right. But what could Judge Haynes do? Deciding another human's fate isn't something to be taken lightly and he has to follow the letter of the law.

By: TharonChandler on 12/20/12 at 12:03

I don't see how you all at NCP can 'Delete' my posts while you obviously allow 'questionable' posts by others . The posts i mention, that i made to article here previously today (that were then deleted by some administration) did not contain any obsenity or cuss-words but were commentary on previous state news appearing in public papers .

By: BEOWULF on 12/20/12 at 8:05

BEOWULF: How can we feel protected when shyster lawyers and left leaning judicial systems turn such criminals [and worse] loose to prey on children, law abiding citizens, again and again... . "Rights of the criminals," more and more, out-weigh those of the victims!

By: dkomisar on 12/21/12 at 7:53


It would seem reasonable to suggest that before commenting on the Court's Order one should first read the 60 page memorandum (a public record) that is the basis of the Order. Our Courts are far from left leaning. The conviction rate (including appeals) is well over 90% in this country. Isn't it reasonable to conclude that the government is sometimes wrong in charging a citizen with a crime rather than assume the government is always right.

By: NewYorker1 on 12/21/12 at 9:34

It's just sex. The only problem I see is if the sex was bad. LOL...

By: freedomsfriend on 12/21/12 at 9:45

What we had in this case was a community of people willing to lie about a victim's age to save some men from jail time. Human trafficking is not such a big deal to them, and girls are expendable. I don't paint all Somalis with that brush. But this crowd? Bad.

These men walk thanks to the combination of aggressive defense attorneys, the fact that key testimony rested upon the wits of scared and traumatized victims going up against their community, out-gunned and out-maneuvered federal prosecutors and a judge who could do little else than what he did.

Now, imagine the chill over future victims. Who, after being brutally raped and sold would dare testify? What predator will pause to think before grabbing your daughter, niece or granddaughter? The system failed. We need to change the system.

By: freedomsfriend on 12/21/12 at 10:09

...and NewYorker1 is a prime example of why we need to change both the system AND our culture.

By: jonw on 12/21/12 at 1:01

Maybe NewYorker1 has first hand knowledge that the sex was bad.

By: parnell3rd on 12/22/12 at 6:21

So newyorker one does not define sex with children as bad? He/she is as bad as some other libtards who post on NCP.
Another judge apointed by Bill Clinton overturns a jury verdict. Did he overtrun the verdict because the defendants are muslim?

By: dkomisar on 12/22/12 at 12:02

Freedomsfriend does not know of what he/she speaks. The only lies about the main victim's age came from her and her family. This is why it is important to read the 60 page memorandum by the court before commenting. Freedomsfriend and I agree on one point and that is human sex trafficking is a horrible crime that deserves to be prosecuted. You must just trust me when I say the U.S. Justice Department is never out-gunned when it goes to trial.

By: NewYorker1 on 12/26/12 at 9:09

I'm still a virgin. Nobody is getting any of this phenomenal.

By: sparky2005 on 12/27/12 at 7:20

Sounds like there may be a defense attorney in here,