Posted on April 17, 2024

Federal Judge Says Defendant’s Rights Not Violated by Different Meaning of ‘Pimping’ in ‘Black Culture’

Michael Karlik, Colorado Politics, April 16, 2024

A federal judge last week rejected the argument that a defendant should receive a new child sex trafficking trial because his attorney failed to ensure jurors understood “pimping” allegedly meant something different in “Black/African-American culture.”

Jalil Lemason Robinson is serving a nearly 16-year sentence after jurors convicted him on two counts related to the attempted sex trafficking of a child in 2018. In reality, the “teenager” Robinson corresponded with by phone and text message was actually an Arapahoe County sheriff’s investigator.

In an April 8 order, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer pointed out any failure of Robinson’s attorney to emphasize alleged cultural differences around the concept of “pimping” did not matter because Robinson, himself, testified his intent was to pimp the fictitious teenager.

“Mr. Robinson does not have a right to a jury composed of persons with a certain understanding of a word, such as ‘pimp,'” Brimmer wrote. “The Court finds that Mr. Robinson has not shown prejudice by any failure of his attorney {snip}”

In Robinson’s case, an investigator created a profile for an 18-year-old Aurora girl named “Brooke” on the social networking service Hi5. Robinson, who also had a profile on the adults-only platform, contacted Brooke. Several weeks later, Brooke responded, and Robinson offered to make her a “business partner” — meaning a prostitute — and told her they could make “hella money.”

Brooke told Robinson by text message that she was actually 17 years old and her real name was “Nikki.” Still, Robinson pushed forward, telling Nikki she would need a fake identification and pressuring her to send nude photos. {snip}