David Q. Givhan, aka “Premier,” 35, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced yesterday to 235 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge David J. Hale, after being convicted by jury of one count of sex trafficking and three counts of interstate transportation for prostitution.
The sentencing was announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. of the Western District of Kentucky and Special Agent in Charge Amy S. Hess of the FBI’s Louisville Division.
“The defendant sexually exploited young women for his own profit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Wheeler. “When they refused he sexually assaulted them and when they fled he found them and brought them back. There is no place for this type of conduct in civilized society. This sentence sends a clear message that the Justice Department will work tirelessly to hold traffickers accountable for their crimes.”
“Forcible sex trafficking is effectively a form of modern day slavery,” said U.S. Attorney Kuhn. “The defendant’s victims were vulnerable women, whom he terrorized by violence, threats and other coercions. Today’s sentence should be a strong message that sex trafficking will be vigorously prosecuted by my office and the Department of Justice.”
“Givhan’s sentence, handed down during Victims’ Rights Week, is reflective of the heinous nature of sex trafficking,” said Special Agent in Charge Hess. “The FBI is committed to aggressively investigating these crimes and removing the victims from an environment of violence and exploitation.”
According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, Givhan prostituted three women for his profit at various times between October 2014 and April 2015 and transported them from Michigan to Kentucky and other states for the purpose of prostitution. He used force, fraud and coercion to compel one of the women to prostitute for him between October 2014 and March 2015. He initially recruited the woman – a single mother of three – using false promises of steady income and a better life. However, once she began earning money, he kept it all. Givhan required her to earn $1,000 a day and beat other women in front of her. Givhan also required her to tattoo his alias, “Premier,” on her neck and threatened to hurt or kill her or her family if she refused to continue prostituting for him. When she objected to his demand that she perform particular acts for customers, he sexually assaulted her. At one point, the woman tried to leave Givhan, but he found her and brought her back. On a trip to Florida, he compelled her to continue prostituting for his profit, even after she sought medical attention for severe pain and bleeding. Shortly thereafter, she managed to escape by enlisting the help of a hotel clerk and her mother.
After deliberating for under five hours, the jury found the defendant guilty on all four counts on Dec. 13, 2016. A fifth count was dismissed during trial.
The investigation was opened when Louisville Metro Police Department officers encountered a woman Givhan had transported from Michigan to Louisville, Kentucky, during a prostitution sting coinciding with the Kentucky Derby.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Louisville Division and Louisville Metro Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amanda E. Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky and Trial Attorney William Nolan of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.