Last December, a federal jury convicted Lavont Flanders Jr. and Emerson Callum on 32 combined counts of fraud and sex trafficking.
It was a gut-wrenching crime. Prosecutors proved that Flanders, an ex-cop, had duped and drugged women in order for Callum -- a Jamaican porn star performing under the name "Jah-T" -- to rape them on camera. The duo then sold the films as a porn series called Miami's Nastiest Nymphos.
In this week's metro story, however, New Times reveals how prosecutors missed at least two clear chances to put Flanders away. One would have prevented the crimes; another would have cut them short. Instead, Flanders and Callum kept racking up victims.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from our investigation:
Nicole Benson got her hair done, packed her best clothes, and jumped into her cousin's car. The 24-year-old beauty with a button nose and mocha skin had the January 2006 weekend off from her job as a Navy communications specialist in Jacksonville. She was on her way to Miami for her first modeling audition.Keep reading here to see how Flanders slipped through the cracks and kept his sex scheme going.
Benson and her cousin checked into a North Miami Beach hotel. At 9 p.m., a talent scout named Antone picked her up and drove her to a beach. He pulled out a video camera and asked her to strip down to a bikini. Then he handed her three shots out of a Bacardi bottle. All she had to do was drink the liquor and deliver her lines for a chance at a hefty modeling contract.
She woke up the next morning in the same car. As Antone dropped her off at the hotel, he told her she had fallen asleep during the audition. It would be more than a year before Benson learned the horrible truth: She had been drugged and raped on camera by two men who later sold the assault as part of a porn series called Miami's Nastiest Nymphos.
But the whole story, uncovered by New Times through records and interviews, is even more nauseating. "Antone," who was actually an ex-Miami Beach cop named Lavont Flanders Jr., should have been in jail long before assaulting Benson and at least seven other victims. Prosecutors flubbed at least two chances to put him away...
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