Appeal from the 19th Judicial District Court In
and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge State of Louisiana
Trial Court No. 07-14-1125 Honorable Trudy M. White, Judge
C. Moore, III District Attorney Cristopher J.M. Casler
Assistant District Attorney Baton Rouge, LA Attorneys for
Appellee, State of Louisiana.
Ann Herrle-Castillo LA Appellate Project Marrero, LA Attorney
for Defendant -Appellant, Carlos Lampley.
Lampley Lafayette, LA In Proper Person.
BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON, AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.
defendant, Carlos Lampley, was charged by an amended grand
jury indictment on count one with trafficking of children for
sexual purposes, a violation of La. R.S. 14:46.3, and on
counts two, three, and four with human trafficking,
violations of La. R.S. l4;46.2. The defendant pled not guilty on
all counts, and proceeded to trial by jury. Prior to the
verdict, the trial court granted the defendant's motion
to quash as to count four. The jury found the defendant
guilty as charged on counts one and two, and guilty of the
responsive offense of attempted human trafficking on count
three, in violation of La. R.S. 14:27 and La. R.S.
defendant was sentenced on count one to fifteen years
imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of parole,
probation, or suspension of sentence; on count two to twenty
years imprisonment at hard labor without the benefit of
parole, probation, or suspension of sentence; and on count
three to five years imprisonment at hard labor without the
benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. The
trial court ordered that all three sentences be served
consecutively. The trial court denied the defendant's
motion to reconsider sentence. The defendant now appeals,
assigning error in a counseled brief to the sufficiency of
the evidence and the constitutionality of the sentences, and
assigning error in a pro se brief to the State introducing
other crimes evidence without a hearing pursuant to State
v. Prieur, 277 So.2d 126 (La. 1973), the State failing
to disclose evidence in violation of Brady v.
Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215
(1963), and the State misrepresenting its burden of proof
during voir dire.
21, 2012, the FBI, the Louisiana State Police, the East Baton
Rouge Sheriffs Office, and the Baton Rouge Police Department
(BRPD) conducted a multi-agency operation targeting
prostitution and human trafficking in Baton Rouge, organized
by FBI Special Agent Taneka Blacknell. As a result of
the operation, the defendant was arrested on that date. The
operation took place at the Crestwood Suites Hotels in Baton
Rouge, and targets were developed from the website Backpage
as well as other websites. Further, under their procedure, an
undercover agent was used to contact suspected prostitutes to
arrange a date and, after an agreement for sex was
negotiated, the police would enter the hotel room and make an
date noted above, June 21, 2012, an undercover agent
negotiated a sex act with a sixteen-year-old high school
student, then the agent gave an audible signal for the
officers to enter the room. While at the hotel, the officers
made contact with the defendant who was at the hotel with
another female. The officers detained, separated, and
questioned the defendant and the female. The officer
conducted a search of the defendant and discovered he had a
hotel key for Room 326. The defendant gave the officers consent
to search the hotel room, and in doing so, they discovered a
bag of alprazolam pills. Once the defendant was confronted
regarding the pills, he denied that Room 326 was his room,
indicating that Room 240 was his room. The officers then went
to Room 240, where they located two other females, a
substantial amount of paperwork bearing the defendant's name,
and a DVD. The room was not registered in the defendant's
name, and he did not have a key to the room on his person.
The defendant was placed under arrest for possession of
drugs, solicitation for prostitution, and human trafficking.
the victim on count one (trafficking of children for sexual
purposes), testified that her date of birth is January 14,
1994. According to the indictment, the offense
was committed "[o]n or about July 2011 to October 19,
2011[.]" M.P. first met the defendant at a studio in
Baton Rouge. Although she was seventeen years old at the
time, she told the defendant she was eighteen years old.
After the initial meeting with the defendant, she became
interested in the life that he described to her, and began
participating in "dates." Her first date was
obtained as a result of a "backpage" ad that one of
the girls posted on her behalf. M.P. specifically described
the date as her going to a room with the "trick"
and having sex with him. She received payment in exchange for
the sex and was told to go pay her "Daddy," the
defendant. She went on more dates and eventually began
working the "track," which consisted of her riding
around to pick someone, preferably a New Orleans tourist, and
attempting to obtain their personal information, including
pin numbers. In addition to stealing pin numbers, on some
occasions she performed sexual acts while working the track.
Whenever she would obtain money, she would give it to the
defendant. When she obtained credit cards and pin numbers,
she would go to an ATM to check the balance on the card,
retrieve funds, and then go to Walmart to purchase money
orders to give to the defendant.
the victim on count two (human trafficking when the services
include commercial sexual activity), confirmed that her date
of birth is August 26, 1987. She further testified that she
was a prostitute for the defendant. According to the
indictment, the offense was committed "[o]n or about
January 2008 [.]" M.J. first met the defendant in 2007,
through a female who indicated that she needed help getting
away from a male who she was staying with at the time. After
prostituting for another pimp who would beat her, M.J. began
working for the defendant instead. All of the money that she
obtained from "tricks" was given to the defendant.
M.J. considered herself as one of the defendant's higher
earners. She testified that $90, 000 was the most amount of
money she ever made for the defendant in one night. She
confirmed that if she ever failed to do something that she
was supposed to do, the defendant would punish her by hitting
her, withholding food, or raping her.
the victim on count three (attempted human trafficking when
the services include commercial sexual activity), testified
that her date of birth is July 30, 1996. According to the
indictment, the offense was committed "[o]n or about
June 21, 2OI2[.]" At trial, K.W. denied that she was
ever solicited by the defendant to work as a prostitute, but
stated that she and D.J., her close childhood friend that she
referred to as "her sister," met the defendant at a
hotel. K.W. recalled giving a pretrial interview to FBI Agent
Blacknell, but did not recall the content of the interview.
According to Agent Blacknell, during her pretrial interview
of K.W. on August 2, 2012, K.W. confirmed that she and D.J.
met the defendant at a hotel, and he described the concepts
of pimping and prostitution and proposed that she participate
in such acts, but she refused.
OF THE EVIDENCE
counseled assignment of error number one, the defendant
argues that because no rational juror should have found the
State proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt, the
convictions should be reversed. As to count one, the
defendant contends that there are several things that cast
doubt on the credibility of M.P., the victim on count one.
First, he notes that M.P. lied about her age, a factor in the
offense charged and the sentencing. Second, he contends that
while incarcerated, M.P. wrote a letter to M.J., the victim
on count two, stating that their stories needed to be
consistent and encouraged M.J. to relay a fabricated story.
The defendant further argues that the likelihood of M.P.
being willing to lie to get out of trouble was further made
evident by the fact that Agent Blacknell assisted her in
having her criminal charges in New Orleans dismissed.
Finally, the defendant asserts that M.P. was further
motivated to lie because she did not have a relationship with
the defendant, despite being admittedly in love with him.
count two, the defendant argues that M.J.'s story lacked
credibility. He contends that despite the fact that she
worked as a stripper in a strip club and had a "sugar
daddy," she testified that she had no idea that pimps
existed. In claiming that M.J.'s testimony was
inconsistent with the "essence and purpose of a sugar
daddy," the defendant contends that M.J. testified that
her so-called "sugar daddy" did not pay her rent
and that she could not recall how he helped her get an
apartment. Further, the defendant notes that M.J. testified
that she was not allowed to visit her mother in Baton Rouge,
though she was allowed to travel to at least twelve cities
across the United States. He claims that M.J. worked with
M.P. in developing a plan to concoct a story and that M.J.,
like M.P., would say whatever was necessary to minimize her
own culpability. Finally, the defendant notes that Agent
Blacknell helped M.J. with traffic tickets, which he argues
could be seen as a reward for cooperating with the
count three, the defendant argues that while he was found
guilty of attempted human trafficking, the testimony of the
victim K. W. did not establish any of the elements of human
trafficking. The defendant notes that K.W. stated that he
never solicited her for prostitution, that she did not recall
him asking to be her pimp, and that she never saw the
defendant ask her friend D.J. to serve as her pimp. He notes
that Agent Blacknell's prior interview of K. W. was not
recorded, and contends that the agent's interpretation of
the interview was not reliable because it was possible that
K. W. did not understand certain aspects of the questioning.
In that regard, he notes that K.W. indicated at trial that
she was unsure of the meaning of solicitation. He further
contends that Agent Blacknell may have misinterpreted or
skewed her answers.
addition to arguing that the credibility of the victims is at
issue, the defendant argues that there was no evidence to
corroborate the crimes. He specifically contends that there
was nothing linking him to any stolen credit cards, and
nothing to prove that he received any money from the victims
or was benefiting from the work they claimed they were doing.
Finally, the defendant claims that he had a legitimate reason
for being around prostitutes. In that regard, he notes that
he filed proper paperwork to form several limited liability
companies to create movies and write a book.
conviction based on insufficient evidence cannot stand as it
violates Due Process. See U.S. Const, amend. XIV; La. Const,
art. I, § 2. The constitutional standard for testing the
sufficiency of the evidence, as enunciated in Jackson v.
Virginia,443 U.S. 307, 99 S.Ct. 2781, 61 L.Ed.2d 560
(1979), requires that a conviction be based on proof
sufficient for any rational trier of fact, viewing the
evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, to
find the essential elements of the crime beyond a reasonable
doubt. See La. Code Crim. P. art. 821(B); State v.
Ordodi, 2006-0207 (La. 11/29/06), 946 So.2d 654, 660. In
conducting this review, we also must be expressly mindful of
Louisiana's circumstantial evidence test, which states in
part, "assuming every fact to be proved that the
evidence tends to prove," every reasonable hypothesis of