Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Meet Delicia Carmichael
Delicia (Lici) Carmichael is a name that everyone should know. She is a human trafficking victim exploited by people who she believed and should have loved her. Lici was a fifteen year old girl sentenced to 20 years in prison for being present during a crime that her trafficker committed. Her trafficker was only sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Lici was abused her entire life. Offered as a slave to fulfill the sexual desires of older men, Lici’s mother sold her for sex at the tender age of 4. She wasn’t even safe with her own family. After her mother went to jail for unpaid parking tickets, Lici and her younger brother were left in the care of their grandfather, who also sexually abused her. After leaving the two small children to fend for themselves, they ended up in foster care after reports of them living in a car proved to be true.
At ten years old, after several failed attempts to find Lici a forever home, she finally found a place that she would stay for several years. Unfortunately, the family realized that they weren’t capable of handling the trauma Delicia had endured throughout her lifetime and how it had influenced her behavior. She, again, was left without a family.
Like many trafficking victims who are sexually exploited, Lici believed that her trafficker was her boyfriend. This illusion of a love story began a year prior to her sentencing. Lici met someone she thought she could trust and had an immediate and emotional connection with... she was wrong. Lici felt as if he understood her because they had both lived a difficult life. He didn’t criticize her for self-harming, he at times would provide her with clothes and food when she needed it the most. To add another level of comfort, they were introduced by her mother, Alyson. Although Alyson’s parental rights had been terminated, she and Lici still communicated with one another. Lici’s mother introduced her to eighteen year old Joseph, at a mutual friend’s party. It is believed that she was well aware of the terrible things that he was capable of and the potential danger she was putting her daughter in by connecting them.
Joseph began trafficking Lici at age 14. He devised a plan to sell her for sex and he would then rob her “Johns”. At the age of fifteen, Joseph and Lici picked up a 34 year old man who believed that they were taking him to a park to have sex with Lici (children cannot consent to sex with adults. It’s rape.). Once they arrived at the park, Joseph pulled out a gun and demanded that the “John” give him his money and phone. Out of instinctual fear the man fled and was unharmed despite being shot at by Joseph.
For this crime, Lici was eventually sentenced to 20 years in prison for aggravated robbery and kidnapping, and Joseph was sentenced to 15 years for robbery. She was present for this crime for the sake of her own safety, she feared being abused by Joseph had she disagreed to do anything he said.
At this point in her life, Lici still did not understand that she was a victim... it seems no one did. Law enforcement, prosecution, nor her own legal counsel identified Lici as a victim much less a trafficking victim. Even if she were identified as a victim, Texas has no laws implemented that protect trafficking victims that are involved in crimes because of their exploitation. A bill meant to protect people in this situation, Lici included, should have been passed in June 2019. This bill would have helped victims get clemency, however it was vetoed by Governor Greg Abbott.
The state of Texas still charges minors with prostitution despite the fact that there is a federal law stating that minors cannot be paid for sex, as they are unable to have consensual sex with adults. They are, and should be recognized as rape victims. Should money be exchanged for sex with these children, the buyers should be charged with human trafficking and the children recognized as trafficking victims.
“My mother used to call me stupid little bitch. She told me I’d never amount to anything, but I knew when she looked me in my eyes she was seeing her reflection, a connection to her past. The time when she was neglected, disrespected by the people who were supposed to show love but instead never gave two fucks. These are the same people who belittled me, told me I was nothing but a piece of pussy and that’s all I’d ever be. For a while I allowed these degrading things to define me, made me forget my quality. I accepted it as my reality.”
Lici would express her trauma through poetry. One of her poems is listed above. It goes into detail, explaining how her family treated her and how she used to let these hurtful and abusive comments define her. There are two petitions that you are able to sign listed below. You should help convince Texas Governor Greg Abbott to grant Lici clemency. Please contact Governor Greg Abbott at:
Office of the Governor
Attn: Governor Greg Abbott
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428
Send Governor Abbott a message: https://gov.texas.gov/contact
He is the current governor of Texas, and unfortunately, someone who needs to be taught about the horrific tragedy that is human trafficking. Please do ALL you can to help women like Lici and follow us along our journey as we fight for women who are facing the same struggles as her. Donate, volunteer, raise awareness. Your voice matters.
Yours in the fight,
*** Mother and trafficker’s names have been changed due to legal concerns.
1. Links to petition
3. Download our template and insert your photo. Then share on social media with friends and family.