Sex trafficking trial faces series of delays

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A federal trial involving more than a dozen defendants accused in a sex trafficking ring run by Somali gangs has faced a series of delays even before opening arguments start.

U.S. District Judge William J. Haynes again this week ordered jurors to return on Monday as defense attorneys argued that the defendants, many of whom are refugees from Somalia, were juveniles at the time the crimes occurred.

The indictment said three gangs called the Somali Outlaws, the Somali Mafia and the Lady Outlaws were forcing teenage girls into prostitution and operated in St. Paul, Minn.; Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; and Nashville.

After selecting a jury last month, the trial was delayed last week when prosecutors turned over thousands of documents to defense attorneys on the eve of trial.

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