Multiple Life Sentences for Jah-T, Accomplice

MIAMI—A Florida-based adult performer known as Jah-T and his accomplice were handed multiple life sentences in a Miami federal court Thursday for participating in a years-long crime spree during which they drugged, sexually abused, videotaped and commercial exploited as many as one hundred women.

Emerson "Jah-T" Callum, 45, and Lavont Flanders Jr., 40, a former Miami Beach police officer, were indicted on Aug. 16 by a federal grand jury on 22 counts of conspiring to use social networks and to identify, contact and then lure unsuspecting women to supposed auditions for modeling shoots for name brand spirits.

"At the 'auditions," the grand jury indictment stated, "Flanders, still using a false and fraudulent identity, would provide the women with alcoholic beverages that contained Xanax, which Flanders told them to drink as part of the audition. After the women had ingested the Xanax, Flanders and Callum would have them sign Model Release forms.

"Flanders," the indictment continued, "while filming the women, would ask them whether they were under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, knowing, however, that they had already consumed the alcoholic beverages, which contained Xanax.

"Callum witnessed the women deny that they were under the influence of any drugs or alcohol," it continued. "Callum would engage in sexual acts with the women. Flanders would film Callum engaging in sexual acts with the women. Callum, through [his company] Miami Vibes, would sell copies of the videos over the internet and to local businesses."

The footage of the women denying that they were under the influence was added to the video recordings by Flanders and Callum, who never paid any of the women.

In December, the two were found guilty by a jury of a combined 32 charges related to criminal acts committed between 2006 and 2011, the time period during which prosecutors said they contacted about 100 women, 50 of whom made reports to the authorities and seven of whom testified at the trial.

Thursday, reported the Sun Sentinel, several of the victims appeared at the sentencing hearing where they "confronted" the two men.

"I am not afraid of you, either of you," one of the women told them. "I am here because I want to look both of you in your pitiful eyes."

According to the article, "She called them 'arrogant, sick and twisted, moronic imbeciles' who left a trail of evidence that led to them. She took pride in having helped federal agents and local police track them down. Neither man would meet her gaze as she spoke."

Despite that apparent inability to look the woman in the eye, the defendants' demeanor at yesterday's sentencing hearing was characterized as defiant. "Their attorneys tried to shift blame to the women because some of them agreed to drink what they thought was an alcoholic drink they were being paid to promote on film," reported the Sun Sentiel.

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore responded directly to that claim, saying, "I categorically and emphatically reject any suggestion that these women were in any way responsible for what happened to them. Indeed, the effort to shift the blame to these women is shameless," and then he sentenced the men to multiple life terms.

Flanders and Callum, through their attorneys, objected to the convictions and sentences and said they will appeal.

Photo: Emerson Callum, left, and Lamont Flanders Jr.