Date ArticleType
9/28/2017 Member News

Sarasota County has successfully prosecuted another sex trafficker, Joshua Carter, providing evidence that this crime will not be tolerated in our community. In a case that began in 2016, Attorney Julie Cercus, Sarasota Police Department, and Selah Freedom are thrilled to announce that justice has been served and all of the survivors of Carter’s sex trafficking ring are free. Selah Freedom, a national anti-sex trafficking organization headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, celebrated another unique victory in this case. A former graduate of their program had an opportunity to support the current survivor testifying against Carter as her “Victim Advocate” in the courtroom.

Among other crimes, Carter has been charged with the following:
· Public Order Crimes-Coerce Commercial Sexual Activity Child Under 18 Years Of Age
· Procure For Prostitute-Live Off Earnings Of Prostitute
· Renting Space For Lewdness, Assignation Or Prostitution 1st Offense
· Racketeering
· Unlawful Use Of A Two-Way Communications Device

Survivors testified that Carter forced and coerced them into having sex with dates and sold them online on the notorious website. He met some of his victims in Sarasota and began selling them out of rooms he rented from a hotel off of University Parkway in Sarasota. They also testified that he drugged them and that they were afraid to speak out, as he may hurt their family. Carter testified that he was fully aware that one of the survivors in the investigation was underage.

This investigation’s success would not have been possible if it weren’t for the collaborative efforts of Sarasota Police Department’s Sgt. Armstrong, Sgt. Featherstone, Det. Dustin Luciano, Det. Maria Llovio, Det. Meagan Buck, Det. Adam Moorningstar, Julie Cercus, Statewide Prosecutor of the Attorney General’s Office and countless other advocates with the Sarasota Police Department.

"We are grateful to continue our fight to transform our community and the nation into a solution center for sex trafficking survivors. Justice in this case speaks volumes to the countless hours of hard work our staff has put in along with our partners in law enforcement and the state attorney's office. We are proud to help these women discover their true worth by walking them into the freedom they deserve,” says Elizabeth Fisher, President/CEO of Selah Freedom. For more information on how to get involved, visit


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The Greater Sarasota Chamber
of Commerce

1945 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, Florida 34236
Phone: (941) 955-8187 | Fax: (941) 366-5621