COA upholds human trafficking conviction

August 20, 2015

The Indiana Court of Appeals took a plain reading of state statute to counter a defendant’s argument that the state had to prove intent in order to sustain a conviction of attempted promotion of human trafficking.

Pardip Singh was convicted of attempted promotion of human trafficking, criminal confinement and intimidation for repeatedly abusing his wife, P.K.

Before the Court of Appeals, Singh asserted the evidence was insufficient to support his human trafficking conviction. He argued the state did not show he intended to force his wife to perform commercial sex acts when he brought her to Indiana.

However, the appellate court pointed out Indiana Code section 35-42-3-5.1(a) “criminalizes transportation, recruitment or harboring a person in order to force them into marriage, prostitution or participating in sexual conduct.”

The Court of Appeals found that the evidence showed Singh beat his wife, kept her confined in his apartment and made phone calls soliciting money from other men in exchange for spending one night with his wife. He also brought one man to the apartment apparently for the purpose of trading sex with P.K. for $500.

“Under these facts and circumstances, the State presented sufficient evidence to establish that Singh knowingly or intentionally took a substantial step towards using threats and force to harbor P.K. in an apartment and force her into prostitution or participating in sexual conduct,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote for the court.

The case is Pardip Singh v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1410-CR-717.


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