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Sex Trafficking Convictions Reversed

People v. Joseph Court: California Courts of Appeal, Docket: A153494 (First Appellate District), Opinion Date: May 3, 2021. Defendant was convicted of 19 felonies against several victims, including conspiracy to commit human trafficking, and numerous sex offenses, including 14 counts of rape. Defendant's conviction stemmed from his involvement in a lucrative and violent sex trafficking enterprise. In the published portion of the opinion, the Court of Appeal concluded that the conspiracy conviction for human trafficking did not violate the ex post facto prohibition. The court also concluded that California lacked jurisdiction over Counts 17 through 21, the rapes of Jane Doe 5 in North Carolina. The court reversed the convictions for counts 17 to 21, struck the court operations assessments and criminal conviction assessments attached to counts 17 to 21; and affirmed the remaining convictions, modifying the judgment to reflect a total sentence of 119 years, plus 15 years to life, in state prison. As modified, the court affirmed the judgment. The court directed the trial court to prepare an amended abstract of judgment and forward it to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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