Final case review set for accused human traffickers

Jason Haith

Taliesha Haith

DOVER — Three defendants charged with human trafficking in Kent County last year are scheduled for final case reviews next week.

At mid-week, the Delaware Department of Justice had not determined whether Dover residents Jason Haith, 19, Taliesha Haith, 35, and Donnell Singletary, 33, would be tried separately.

Donnell Singletary

A final case review is scheduled for Wednesday in Kent County Superior Court, followed by a trial on Jan. 16. A judge assignment was pending as of Tuesday,

Prosecutors claim the trio was part of a Dover-based operation that involved two 16- and 17-year-old females being solicited as prostitutes online.
Investigators alleged that meetings were orchestrated from the Haith’s home in the 1000 block of East Lebanon Road.

The trio was arrested on May 19, 2017 and indicted by a grand jury on Aug. 7, 2017. Charges include human trafficking (two counts), second-degree promoting prostitution and second-degree conspiracy. Mr. Haith was also charged with motor vehicle theft.

Jessica A. Hutkin

Austin White

Awaiting sentencing are Smyrna residents Jessica Hutkin, who pled guilty to human trafficking of a minor and second-degree-conspiracy, and Austin White, who pled guilty to second-degree conspiracy. Ms. Hutkin was 34 years old at the time of arrest in May, and Mr. White was 19.

Prosecuting the case is Deputy Attorney General Periann Doko, the commander of the Delaware Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Mr. Haith is represented by attorney Ronald G. Poliquin, Ms. Haith by Matthew C. Buckworth and Mr. Singletary by John S. Malik.

Initially, authorities said, a foster parent of a juvenile contacted the Delaware State Police on May 8, 2017 regarding a juvenile reported missing on March 27, 2017. The parent indicated the girl may have been advertised online at www.backpage.com, police said.

In arrest documents, police said an underage female claimed she was paid for five or six sexual encounters at the Capitol Inn in Dover.

She told police she then turned the money over to Hutkin, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (Wilmington office), and the Delaware DOJ teamed with State Police in the investigation that eventually brought arrests.

Both girls were turned over to the Division of Family Services and not identified publicly by police due to the sensitive nature of the case.

Charges, sentencing defined

Human trafficking of a minor is considered a class B violent felony in Delaware Code. The law states that “A person is guilty of trafficking an individual if the person knowingly recruits, transports, harbors, receives, provides, obtains, isolates, maintains, advertises, solicits, or entices an individual in furtherance of forced labor … or sexual servitude.”

Second-degree promoting prostitution is a class E nonviolent felony and is defined as – “Advances or profits from prostitution by managing, supervising, controlling or owning, either alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business or enterprise involving prostitution activity by two or more prostitutes.

“Advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than 18 years old.”

Second-degree conspiracy is a class G nonviolent felony and occurs “when, intending to promote or facilitate the commission of a felony, the person:
“Agrees with another person or persons that they or one or more of them will engage in conduct constituting the felony or an attempt or solicitation to commit the felony; or

“ Agrees to aid another person or persons in the planning or commission of the felony or an attempt or solicitation to commit the felony; and the person or another person with whom the person conspired commits an overt act in pursuance of the conspiracy.”

Motor vehicle theft is a class G nonviolent felony.

A class B violent felony can bring 2 to 25 years incarceration, class E nonviolent felony up to five years and class G nonviolent felony up to two years,

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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