DA's Office Awarded for Human Trafficking Prosecution
Published on February 17, 2017
Denver, Colo. (Weld D.A.) -- It's difficult to understand, or even grasp, the notion of human trafficking and its impact on victims across the world. It's even more difficult to pinpoint how many are affected by this evil, calculated enterprise.
According to the International Labour Organization, 20.9 million people worldwide are victims of human trafficking and forced labor. "At least 22 percent of individuals are forcibly exploited for sex and 68 percent for private labor," the organization says.
Unfortunately, the number is likely much higher because the crime is designed for secrecy; it's designed to be an underground operation.
Do not be mistaken, human trafficking is happening here in Colorado. It has the attention of our office and others across the state.
On Thursday, the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado held its 5th annual Human Trafficking Legislative Day at the state Capitol in Denver to bring the issue to the forefront.
We were honored to be recognized and awarded at this event for our prosecution of a known pimp in Northern Colorado, Paul "Haylo" Burman. Burman pimped both adults and teenagers, the youngest being 15 years old. He would give them alcohol and drugs and force them to have sex with men.
Weld County Deputy District Attorneys Arynn Clark and Tammy Love convinced a jury in August 2016 that he was guilty of human trafficking, child prostitution, pimping of a child, among 29 other counts. Three months later, he was sentenced to 248 years in the Department of Corrections, the largest human trafficking sentence on state record.
"He took advantage of the the vulnerable. He preyed upon our children. And that's something we will never stand for," said Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke at Thursday's rally. "Colorado must send a message to the evil, barbaric people who engage in human trafficking: Your days of making money by sexually exploiting women and children are numbered."
We would like to thank the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado for its exceptional push to help end human trafficking in Colorado and bringing this devastating issue to light.
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking or prostitution, call your local police department or district attorney. You can also call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.