Updated: Apr 6
Tiffany’s story must be shared until she is set free from prison. Tiffany Simpson is a victim of both human trafficking and the criminal justice system. Tiffany’s unstable home life left her broken, alone, and ignorant of true love. She was exploited by men seeking her body for pleasure and money, and she was treated as a criminal by the courts instead of someone in need of healing.
Tiffany suffered from a broken family. While her mother was addicted to alcohol, her father was convicted of murder when she was just six years old. Tiffany’s grandmother and aunt obtained custody of her when she was 13. At 16, Tiffany was introduced to cocaine. Men traded cocaine with Tiffany in exchange for sex. When the police found Tiffany with these men, they simply sent Tiffany back to her grandmother’s house. When Tiffany was 17, she met a 34-year-old man named Shawn who convinced Tiffany that he loved her. In reality, Shawn used her for sex and money. Shawn forced Tiffany to have sex with other men while he stole their belongings.
Tiffany grew very weary and frustrated from this lifestyle, but Shawn constantly threatened her to keep her enslaved. When Tiffany became pregnant, Shawn threatened to kill Tiffany and her baby if she did not do as Shawn commanded. He also stabbed Tiffany in the leg and threatened to burn Tiffany’s grandmother’s house and kill her grandmother.
Shawn’s threats eventually caused Tiffany to help him recruit and traffic a 13-year-old girl named Kaitlyn. Initially, Tiffany refused Shawn’s order, but Tiffany had to comply after Shawn beat her. Shawn and Tiffany picked Kaitlyn up and drove her to a house with four men. One of the men forced Kaitlyn to have sex with him, while the other three men forced Tiffany to have sex with them. Shawn received all the money.
Tiffany was later arrested and convicted of sex trafficking a minor. At the time, she was sentenced to 30 years in jail, and so far she has served 10 of those years. However, Tiffany should not have served a single moment in prison. She is a victim of sex trafficking forced to lure another girl into the ring. According to Georgia state law section 16-3-26, Tiffany should be able to claim coercion under affirmative defense. Affirmative defense means that there is some type of circumstance under which the crime occurred that renders the defendant not guilty. In Tiffany’s case, Shawn coerced her into trafficking another girl through threat of death and bodily harm to herself, her baby, and her grandmother. Thus, Tiffany is innocent of her charges.
Tiffany is a strong advocate for incarcerated survivors of human trafficking. You can view the cinematic presentation of her story, read her blogs, and learn more about survivor justice here. You can help free Tiffany by signing her petition here. Please also share this blog using #freetiffany. It is our job to assist Tiffany and other survivors victimized by both trafficking and the criminal justice system!
Yours in the fight,