If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Desiree Robinson she was the 16-year-old girl who was murdered outside of Chicago after being prostituted on Backpage. On Christmas Eve of 2016, after 32-year-old Antonio Rosales couldn’t pay Desiree at a party in Markham, Illinois he allegedly brutally murdered her instead. Rosales was said to have beat her and slit her throat. Rosales is currently awaiting trial but he isn’t the only one being held responsible for Desiree’s plight.
Joseph Hazley was Desiree’s pimp at the time of her murder. He had previously ‘bought’ Desiree from another pimp for a promise of $250. When Hazley found out that Desiree had been murdered, he tried to get another woman to work for him because in Hazley’s words, “Now that she’s gone, I got no money coming in.” Hazley was arrested back in June of 2017 and was held without bond.
This past week, Hazley was convicted by a federal jury of on charges of sex trafficking conspiracy, sex trafficking a minor and transporting victims of sex trafficking across state lines. The jury only took four hours to deliberate. That shouldn’t come as a surprise since his defense seemed to consist of his attorney saying “He doesn’t have a gold tooth, he’s not pimping it out.” I guess we’re supposed to only recognize pimps by their wide-brimmed hats, gold teeth, and ornate canes.
As I said in a previous post, there’s a whole lot of ‘not caring’ in this tragic story. Rosales obviously didn’t care about the life of Desiree Robinson. Neither did Hazley except when it came to making money. Most importantly Backpage didn’t care that 16-year-old girls were being peddled on their website as long as the pimps continued to pay for the ads. Desiree did have a family that cared for her and they still do. They’re currently suing Backpage for allowing Desiree to be prostituted and murdered. With former Backpage CEO pleading guilty to charges of money laundering and conspiracy to facilitate prostitution, their lawsuit may be successful.
Hazley is facing a lifetime behind bars at sentencing.
Legalizing prostitution would just legitimize the pimps and girls like Desiree Robinson would be treated even more brutally than they are now.