NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have finished their case against a group of nine defendants charged in a conspiracy to commit sexual trafficking of children operated by Somali gangs.
The federal jury could hear closing arguments on Wednesday afternoon after more than two weeks of testimony in the case that spans from Minnesota to Tennessee. Seven of the nine defendants on trial and several key witnesses have been from the Somali refugee communities in Minneapolis and Nashville.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is trying to prove a wide-ranging conspiracy by the gangs to use girls under the age of 18 as prostitutes, but defense attorneys have argued the exact age of the prosecution's main witness, a Somali female identified only as Jane Doe No. 2, is not known because her birth certificate is faked.