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Girls testify in rape, human trafficking trial

  • By Hurst Laviana
  • Published Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at 6:58 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at 9:34 p.m.

A Kansas City, Kan., woman described to a Sedgwick County jury Wednesday how she made repeated trips to Wichita with her young teenage daughters so a Wichita man could have sex with them in an east Wichita motel room.

“Who rented the room?” Deputy District Attorney Marc Bennett asked.

“Sometimes I did, sometimes he did,” the mother said.

“The lights were on?” Bennett asked.

“Correct.”

“You could see what he was doing to your girls?”

“Correct. I’d tell him to stop but he wouldn’t. He told me he’s the head of the household, and he wanted things to go the way he wanted them to go.”

The testimony came in the trial of James Lamont Brown, 49, who is facing multiple counts of rape and aggravated human trafficking for crimes that allegedly occurred from April 2010 through June 2011. The girls, now 14 and 15 years old, both testified Wednesday that Brown had sex with them on at least five weekend trips they made to Wichita with their mother in 2010 and 2011.

The younger sister said they followed the same routine every time after checking into the Econo Lodge at 8302 E. Kellogg.

“He would take off his clothes. Mom would take off her clothes, and they would have sex,” the girl said. “And then he would come to me.”

The mother, who is not being named to protect the identity of her daughters, has pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated human trafficking and is facing a sentence of life without parole for 25 years.

Seconds after defense lawyer Mark Sevart finished cross-examining the older girl, Brown startled the courtroom by announcing, “Objection. I’ve got a list of questions.”

After the jury was excused, Brown told District Judge Greg Waller that he had prepared a list of questions he wanted to ask the girl, but that his lawyer, Sevart, refused to ask them. Waller asked why the questions hadn’t been given to Sevart earlier. Sevart said that his client had refused to meet with him when he tried to visit him several times in jail. Waller refused a request by Brown that he be allowed to represent himself for the duration of the trial.

After the jury returned, the mother said that Brown wanted to get both of her daughters pregnant so he could expand the size of his family. She didn’t have a clear answer when Bennett asked why she allowed the abuse to happen.

“Why didn’t you turn around in Emporia and go home?” Bennett asked at one point.

“I should have, but I didn’t,” she said.

The prosecution is scheduled to rest its case Thursday.

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