Jury hears Virginia case alleging 4 cops enabled prostitution ring

Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler briefs reporters on reports of a man with a gun entering the USA Today headquarters building on Aug. 7, 2019, in McLean, Virginia.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A woman who says she was lured from Costa Rica into a Virginia-based sex-trafficking ring says a former police chief and three other officers were clients of the enterprise and allowed it to operate.

A federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, began hearing testimony Jan. 10 in the civil trial against the four officers, including Asheville Deputy Chief James Baumstark, a former Fairfax County police captain, and Edwin Roessler, the former chief in Fairfax, the state’s most populous county.

Asheville Police Department Deputy Chief Jim Baumstark

The woman, identified only as Jane Doe, worked under the supervision of Hazel Sanchez from 2010 until 2015. Sanchez was later convicted of running a commercial sex operation.

For subscribers:As sex trafficking trial naming APD deputy chief starts, why are Asheville leaders quiet?

Doe says Sanchez forced her into prostitution after luring her from Costa Rica with the promise of work as a nanny and a high-end escort who would go out on dates with wealthy clients but not necessarily be required to have sex with them.


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