27 May 2010

Y2K Pimpin'

A pimp that understand brand loyalty

In the following paragraphs my intent is to walk you through a young girl's story. It involves her new pimp, her experiences with sites like Craigslist, and most importantly her disappearance. Stories like this will help us reveal the person(s) really at fault.

She was a 16-year-old California girl looking for trouble on MySpace; he was a 22-year-old self-described pimp who liked the revealing photos she posted to her profile. Three weeks after they met on the social networking site, they were arrested together in real life outside a cheap motel in Sacramento, 50 miles from her home. She was turning tricks. On her arm, a fresh tattoo showed bundles of cash and her new acquaintance’s street moniker in 72-point cursive.

Last week, Marvin Chavelle Epps was held without bail on federal child pornography charges over a video found at his arrest, in which the girl is seen performing a sex act on him while he calls her "bitch" and slaps her in the head with a roll of bills. Though the girl, identified as "S.M." in court documents, denied to police that he was her manager, by his own account Epps is a new kind of pimp — a web-savvy exploiter who uses sites like myRedBook and Craigslist to broker his women.

A review of S.M.’s MySpace profile, which lists her age as 19, suggests she fits that description to a T. When she set up the account last July, the Stockton, California, girl immediately blogged that she was looking for someone to sell her pot and MDMA. A couple of months later, she shared that she’d just been arrested on drug possession charges. "I’m a lot more hood than you think", she wrote one of her 1,000 MySpace friends.

Many pimps tattoo prostitutes as a mark of "ownership". The tattoo will often be the pimp's street or even his likeness. The mark might be as discreet as an ankle tattoo, or blatant as a neck tattoo, or large scale font across the prostitute's lower back, thigh, chest, or buttocks. The tattoos act doubly as a mark of ownership to other men and as a means to humiliate and dehumanize their prostitutes. If a prostitute comes under the domain of another pimp, the previous pimp's tattoo might either be removed or simply crossed out and replaced with her new pimp's name.
Her profile picture shows her smiling sweetly in a composite of four studio head shots that look they’re from a junior high yearbook shoot. But inside her public photo gallery, she’s seen in a variety of provocative poses, and it’s as hard to find a smile as it is clothing.

In early October, Epps friended S.M. and began posting flattering comments about her pictures. She moved him to the top of her friends lists and joined him in Sacramento. On Oct. 7, she began appearing on adult escort websites, with photos, measurements and a menu of sexual services. A slew of reviews on the escort site myRedBook are all positive. (The site did not respond to a request for comment.) The Northern California man who had the misfortune to inherit one of her old cellphone numbers says it never stops ringing. "People call for this woman off the hook," says the man.

Epps’ lawyer says she cannot comment on the case.

“Some of the victims might say, ‘Oh, he’s now in custody. I’m not so afraid to come forward.”

Like her MySpace profile, S.M.’s ads claim that she’s an adult. When a federal vice task force working a sting spotted her and Epps outside the Super 8 motel on Oct. 22, she definitely wasn’t dressed like a kid. "She was wearing a tight red shirt, very short miniskirt and 4-inch, high-heel shoes," wrote Sacramento Police detective Jeff Morris, in a court affidavit. But the police weren’t fooled. "The minor had acne which was consistent with a teenager’s acne."

The police brought her and Epps in for questioning, then released them while the task force continued to investigate. The girl took a hiatus from the online prostitution sites for a month, then showed up on myRedBook in December with a new cellphone number.

“We think there are additional minor victims out there that we have yet to identify”
"I don’t put girls on the blade ... It’s Y2K pimpin’." Epps wrote an associate in a chat log recovered by police.
Epps is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. For a violation of sex trafficking of a minor, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years up to the maximum of life in prison, a potential fine of up to $250,000, a life term of supervised release, and an order of restitution to his victim.

S.M. has since vanished again, and could not be reached for comment.

The important thing about this story is the information it doesn't include. Like, how were Epps and this young girl raised; a factor that I still believe is the key to unlocking/locking the future of our present and future generations.