Mississippi man pleads guilty in brutal human trafficking case

A Mississippi man was sentenced on Wednesday (March 8) to 20 years in prison for his role in a human trafficking case. Pierre Braddy’s guilty plea brings to two the number convictions obtained in connection with the April 2015 crimes, in which a 25-year-old Florida woman was severely beaten and forced into prostitution in Jefferson Parish.

Braddy, 28, of Jackson, pleaded guilty to forcible rape, human trafficking and obstruction of justice, admitting he was one of two Mississippi men to force her into prostitution and keep the money she earned. He entered the pleas late Tuesday afternoon, at the end of the first day of testimony in his trial that began on Monday, when the jury was seated.

The victim appeared in court Wednesday morning to provide impact testimony.

“I just wanted to let you know that I hope when you get out, and I know that you will get out, that you make better choices and that you don’t let someone manipulate or control you and let something like this happen,” she told Braddy. “It was very hurtful. It was very painful. But life goes on. I hope you have a good life.”

Braddy apologized to her. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be a man and stopped what happened,” he told her. He thanked the prosecutors and judge “for giving me a second chance.”

In sentencing Braddy, Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court called his crimes “horrendous.” Of his victim, Judge Miller told him, “You have traumatized her forever.”

Braddy’s co-defendant, Willard Anthony, 30, of Madison, Miss., was convicted as charged by a Jefferson Parish Jury on Dec. 11, of two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of human trafficking, one count each of second-degree battery, aggravated battery, sexual battery and of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He forced the Florida victim into prostitution. Judge Miller sentenced Anthony to a mandatory life sentence in prison on Dec. 14.

Anthony initially met the victim at a hotel in Florida in 2015. She had turned to prostitution to earn money to support her drug habit and advertised her illegal services on backpage.com, a website known by law enforcement agencies for its prostitution advertisements, according to evidence presented in his December trial.

When the victim showed up for her “date” at a hotel room, she met Anthony, who was armed with a pistol. She was beaten and passed out, and when she woke, she was in a car driven by Anthony and had other women, all of whom were traveling to New Orleans. Braddy followed them in his parents’ sports utility vehicle.

After obtaining a motel room on Manhattan Boulevard in Harvey, Anthony and Braddy advertised her and other women on backpage.com, according to trial evidence. The victim, after a “date,” attempted to escape with a man who paid her for sex. Anthony pursued them in his car and flashed a pistol on a busy West Bank thoroughfare, leading the man to leave her behind. The victim attempted to get away on foot. Anthony caught her.

As a result, Anthony had other women beat the woman to the point that she lost consciousness, according to trial testimony. Anthony also made the woman lick a drop of her blood from his shoe and announced he would urinate on her if he could.

Braddy stepped in and forced her to drink his urine, and in doing so he orally raped her. Anthony vaginally raped her with the barrel of his pistol, from which her DNA was later recovered, according to trial evidence. To mask her facial injuries, they made her wear makeup they purchased from a nearby big-box store.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Vice Squad encountered the victim while conducting a routine investigation of prostitution on April 13, 2015. The deputies randomly selected an advertisement on backpage.com.

An undercover JPSO deputy acted as a customer and arranged a date with the victim and went to the Harvey motel room. The Vice Squad was unaware of what transpired during the three days prior, when the victim was forced from Florida to Jefferson Parish, according to testimony in Anthony’s trial.

The undercover deputy testified that he saw the victim sitting on a bed. Her eyes were swollen, and she had a laceration above one of them. “When I saw her she was shivering. You could actually hear her teeth chattering,” the deputy testified.

Another woman in the room told him that the victim was not available. He negotiated for sexual services with the second woman, and once the transaction was confirmed, Vice Squad members raided the room.

The undercover deputy immediately drove the beaten victim to a hospital, given the extent of her injuries. “We later found out she was made to wear makeup so she could continue working. She had to make money” for her pimps, he testified.

After she was released from the hospital in the days that followed, she was extradited to Florida, where she had an open attachment.

Anthony was arrested at the motel on April 13, 2015, shortly after Vice Squad members rescued the victim. Braddy escaped in his sports utility vehicle with the pistol Anthony used to rape the victim and the drugs they used. His fleeing with evidence was the underlying act for the obstruction of justice charge. He was later arrested in Mississippi.

Following his prison sentence, Braddy will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Doug Freese prosecuted the cases.

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