TAMPA, Fla. — The suspect in a human trafficking case in Tampa has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Stacy Glover pleaded guilty to renting space for prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Earlier this year, the ABC Action News I-Team revealed new details in the case. Nonprofit workers traveled from Miami to a Tampa hotel in 2020, during the Super Bowl, to help rescue a woman who said she needed help. Tampa Police arrested Glover for human trafficking at the time.
Glover's attorney Anthony Rickman said, ultimately, “The evidence that we provided them, that the investigation provided them, and their own investigation, established and proved that this is not a case of sex trafficking.”
In 2020, police said Glover paid for the victim to fly from Nebraska to Florida. Investigators said she believed she was flying to Florida to become a plus-size model.
The police report said, "The suspect gave the victim a set of printed out instructions for dealing with clients and how to receive money from them."
The report went on to allege that Glover created a website and posted photos of the victim in lingerie and that "the monetary goal for the week was $1,000."
Messages between the young woman and Glover revealed in the investigation and shared with the I-Team, did not show that the victim was subjected to force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation, which is the criteria for a human trafficking conviction in Florida.
“Not every prostitution case is a human trafficking case," Rickman said. "There are human trafficking cases. There are real cases and real victims out there. Who is the victim of human trafficking, who have been kidnapped, who have been coerced and brought somewhere where they didn’t want to be. You know, held there against their will. That wasn’t the case here.”
Glover will serve 12 months probation, complete community service hours, a drug and alcohol evaluation and all recommended treatment, and an exam for sexually transmitted diseases.
A withhold of adjudication means once Glover completes everything the court orders, he will not be convicted of the crime.
The anti-human trafficking nonprofit Rahab's Daughters, which helped get the woman a flight back home from the Tampa hotel where she asked for help getting out, told the I-Team:
“While I am grateful that this survivor had the courage to leave... and report his crimes, I am extremely disappointed that the criminal justice system did not hold him responsible to the extent he deserved.”
Rickman said he doesn't want the outcome of his client's case to take away from the very real issue of human trafficking.
“It doesn’t mean that there isn’t sex trafficking and that sex trafficking shouldn’t be stopped. And law enforcement shouldn’t continue to prosecute. I’m hoping that law enforcement looks closer at these cases when they receive them," Rickman said.
Advocated, attorneys and law enforcement encourage anyone to reach out who may be a victim or suspect of human trafficking.
If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or suspect an adult is a victim of human trafficking, please visit the National Human Trafficking Hotline or call 1-888-373-7888. If you suspect a child is a victim, please call the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96-ABUSE.