On Tuesday, February 11th, at 6:00 pm at the James L. Bolden Campus Union Ballroom the Office of Judicial Affairs and Student Engagements hosted a ‘Know The Law-Know Your Rights’ Seminar. Daniella Shorter, District Attorney for Copiah, Claiborne and Jefferson Counties, was the guest speaker, who was brought in to enlighten the audience on drugs, weapons, and sex trafficking.
Shorter’s informational primarily focused on sexual assault and sex trafficking which was to educate the attendees on the potential pitfalls of these heinous acts. She posed different scenarios of what would happen in certain situations and also gave the possible outcomes of those examples from how much time an individual could serve in prison to the fine that he/she could receive from committing such acts.
Her first focal point fixated on statutory rape which pertains to a child who is under the age of 14-years-old having sexual contact with someone who is at least 14 months older than that person. Although the age of consent in Mississippi is 16, legally anyone under the age of 16 years of age can not give consent to any sexual acts. The minimum penalty for this crime is 20 years in prision and the maximum penalty is life. Shorter’s next topic of conversation was date rape or forcible rape which is criminalized because the victim did not consent to the assault and the crime can be punishable with life imprisonment.
According to Shorter, “This is the most common type of rape on a college campus because it sometimes involves administrating a pill or liquid to the suspect which produces weakness of the body to prevent resistance.” She gave examples of how a victim could possibly wake up and not remember what happened to them the night before. Shorter also discussed how the pill or liquid administered by the suspect plays apart in diluting the mind before sexual intercourse which is considered date rape.
The seminar also touched on human trafficking which shed light on Toni D. Rivera, who was first a victim of sex trafficking, and later played a part in recruting other women into the criminal element. Shorter arranged to have a video played where the audience would be able to hear Rivera speak about her experience but unfortunately the video could not be played due to technical difficulties.
Currently, Rivera is an advocate for sex and human trafficking. Her story can be found on YouTube on The Breakfast Club’s channel.
To report any human trafficking, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or visit the website at www.humantraffickinghotline.org.