University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class
After a hamstring injury in October of 2004 forced her to surrender her athletic scholarship at St. John's University, Shamere McKenzie chose to spend her winter break working in order to save the money she needed to pay the remainder of her tuition. In January of 2005, Shamere met a man named Corey Davis, who expressed an interest in dating her. After getting to know him for several weeks, she eventually shared with him the challenges she was having earning the money she needed to continue her enrollment in college. Davis encouraged her to consider exotic dancing as a way to earn quick money, and told her he would act as her protection from the men in the
clubs. Desperate to return to school and put at ease by Davis's charming and intelligent demeanor, Shamere accepted his offer.
Shamere became even more convinced of the sincerity of Davis's promises after making $300 in less than two hours on her first night in a New Jersey strip club. Energized by the prospect of making the money she needed far more quickly than she had anticipated, Shamere accepted Davis's offer to travel from the club to a house party in Brooklyn where she could earn additional income by dancing for the men in attendance. When one of the men at the house requested a sex act from her, Shamere spoke harshly to him, which Davis overheard. Instead of protecting her as she expected he would, Davis pulled Shamere to the side and demanded she do as the man requested. When she protested, Davis told her that if she tried to leave, he'd make sure she never made it out alive. Later that night, he threatened to kill Shamere's family if she disobeyed him again, then choked her to the point of unconsciousness.
Jessica Emerson & Alison Aminzadeh, Left Behind: How the Absense of a Federal Vacatur Law Disadvantages Survivors of Human Trafficking, 16 U. Md. L.J. Race, Religion, Gender & Class (2017).