United States v. Vines, No. 19-2316 (7th Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
GMC, a 15-year-old girl, ran away from her foster home and was arrested for shoplifting. She did not provide her real name or age to the police Her friend picked her up from jail, accompanied by Vines, who began prostituting GMC. He posted ads online, including on the website Backpage, and arranged for FMC to meet with customers to engage in sex acts. She gave the money paid for those acts to him. Vines was aware that GMC was a minor. GMC was taken into custody by law enforcement and was evaluated at an emergency room, where an examination determined that she had injuries “too numerous to count.” GMC told officers what had happened.
Vines was found guilty of sex trafficking of a child, 18 U.S.C. 1591(a)(1), (b)(2), (c); sex trafficking of a child, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, sections 1594(c), 1591, transportation of a minor, section 2423(a); and interstate travel in aid of racketeering, section 1952(a)(3). He was sentenced to 480 months’ imprisonment, with supervised release for life, and ordered to pay $13,500 in restitution. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting claims that the trial court erred in allowing the testimony of an expert witness that related to the credibility of GMC; denying his motion to suppress GMC’s identification of Vines through a Facebook photo; and denying motions to suppress evidence obtained from searches of Vines’s iPhone and of his Facebook and iCloud accounts.