Crime Cullman attorney Randy Hames charged with additional counts of human trafficking | The Cullman Tribune

Crime

Cullman attorney Randy Hames charged with additional counts of human trafficking

Cullman attorney Randy Hames, shown here in his mugshot from Saturday, March 10, 2018, has been charged with additional counts of human trafficking. / Cullman County Sheriff's Office

Updated 3-10-18 at 10:05 p.m.

CULLMAN - Local attorney Randy Allan Hames, 75, was arrested again today, Saturday, March 10, and charged with additional counts of human trafficking, according to Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry. The charges are first-degree human trafficking and second-degree human trafficking. Gentry said Hames was booked on an $80,000 bond. He has already made bond and has been released.

Authorities have not confirmed whether Saturday's charges relate to the same victims whose accusations led to his arrest on March 5, when Hames was charged with two counts of second-degree human trafficking, a Class B felony.

The March 5 human trafficking charges stem from the circumstances that led to Hames being arrested back on Feb. 22 for two counts of second-degree stalking and two counts of promoting prostitution, misdemeanor charges.

Hames was out on bond and practicing law inside the Cullman County Courthouse when he was arrested March 5. He made bond that same day. Bond was $15,000 property for each count of human trafficking.

Kayla Carreker and Tomeka Bartlett have accused Hames of requesting sex for rent payments. The two lived at Hames Trailer Park, owned by the accused. Carreker and Bartlett also accuse Hames of making crude sexual remarks to them.

A CCSO spokesman said the Cullman County District Attorney's Office decided to move forward with the human trafficking charges after reviewing the case and speaking with the victims and others.

Local attorney Champ Crocker is representing an unknown number of alleged victims in a civil case against Hames.

What is human trafficking?

According to the Alabama Criminal Code, Section 13A-6-153:

(a) A person commits the crime of human trafficking in the second degree if:

(1) A person knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture or engagement for the purpose of sexual servitude or labor servitude.

(2) A person knowingly recruits, entices, solicits, induces, harbors, transports, holds, restrains, provides, maintains, subjects, or obtains by any means another person for the purpose of labor servitude or sexual servitude.

(3) A corporation, or any other legal entity other than an individual, may be prosecuted for human trafficking in the second degree for an act or omission only if an agent of the corporation or entity performs the conduct which is an element of the crime while acting within the scope of his or her office or employment and on behalf of the corporation or entity, and the commission of the crime was either authorized, requested, commanded, performed, or within the scope of the person's employment on behalf of the corporation or entity or constituted a pattern of conduct that an agent of the corporation or entity knew or should have known was occurring.

(4) Any person who obstructs, or attempts to obstruct, or in any way interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this section shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) Human trafficking in the second degree is a Class B felony.

The Tribune reached out to Kathy Wilson, the chair of the Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force for her thoughts. Here's what she had to say:

"Human trafficking is defined as modern day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. People often confuse trafficking with human smuggling, which involves movement of persons. These are not interchangeable terms. Smuggling is transportation-based and trafficking is exploitation-based. I wish the language could be changed to 'Human Exploitation.'"

About Hames' charges, Wilson said, "It appears his charges are using force or coercion to obtain some type sexual acts from his victims. Our society has been led to believe that human trafficking is based on the movie 'Taken,' which is just not true. (The CCHTT) encourages people to research and educate themselves as to the signs of human trafficking. We welcome concerned citizens to our meetings. Follow us on Facebook at Cullman County Human Trafficking Task Force."

For more information, visit www.cullmansense.com/keyword/human-trafficking to see all of the articles The Tribune has published on human trafficking.

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