SAN ANTONIO – It took a jury just over an hour Wednesday to find Jasmine Simms guilty on six counts of compelling prostitution.
According to testimony during Simms’ three-day trial, she advertised the victim, whom she called “Lady Famous,” for sale for sex on a website called “Backpage.”
The teen testified that Simms would arrange rendezvous for her with adult men at a Southeast Side motel, a truck stop and in a car outside an East Side home.
The teen testified that she would turn over the money the men gave her to Simms.
During closing arguments, defense attorney Justin Fischer claimed that the state’s case lacked sufficient evidence and included many inconsistencies.
“They have not proven that, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Jasmine Simms committed this offense,” Fischer said.
Prosecutor Ryan Wright argued that the state’s case was solid and pointed out that the victim’s testimony tracked other evidence.
“How did she know about the rates they were charging and that they matched the ads?” Wright questioned.
Prosecutor David Lunan said that the victim, who as 14 years old at the time, was vulnerable, as he described her troubled life.
“(She was) not only a runaway, but she had been molested by her grandmother’s boyfriend for years when she was a child,” Lunan said. “That’s why she was removed from (Child Protective Services) custody and why she was living from place to place.”
Simms faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. She will be sentenced at a later date by 186th District Court Judge Jefferson Moore following a presentencing investigation.