May 1, 2012 at 6:06 am
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A federal jury will continue deliberations Tuesday in the trial of nine defendants accused in a sexual trafficking ring operated by Somali gang members.
The jury of six men and six women began deliberations on Monday after more than two weeks of testimony in the federal trial in Nashville. They adjourned for the evening and will return Tuesday morning.
This is the first trial from an indictment that alleged 30 defendants, mostly people of Somali descent, were involved in a wide-ranging conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking and operated in Minnesota, Ohio and Tennessee.
Two key witnesses, who testified in court under anonymity, said that they were juveniles when they were used to perform sexual acts. But defense attorneys claimed in closing statements that the witnesses were unreliable and inconsistent.
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