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Sex Trafficker Denied Grand Jury Documents

(CN) - A man serving time for conspiring to engage in human trafficking cannot access grand jury documents under the Freedom of Information Act, a federal judge ruled.

Josef Boehm pleaded guilty in 2004 to conspiracy to engage in human trafficking, admitting that between 2001 and late 2003 he had recruited several minors in Alaska into prostitution by giving them crack.

In a $20 million restitution lawsuit , one alleged victim of the trafficking scheme said Boehm gave her crack every day in the fall of 2002. That woman says she was 15 when Boehm regularly "enticed her with drugs to perform sexual acts on others, including his co-conspirators and other female victims."

Boehm, who is currently confined to the Seagoville, Texas, Federal Correctional Institution, filed a Freedom of Information Act complaint in 2009 seeking all documents in which he is named from the year 2000 to the present.

The FBI and the Executive Office for United States Attorneys withheld documents related to the grand jury deliberations in the case, and Boehm challenged the move in a federal complaint.

Finding that Boehm had sought the documents "to learn what occurred before the grand jury, not for use in furtherance of a lawful investigation," U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled for the agencies on Friday.

"Here, the FBI and EOUSA are withholding information that identifies the particular records subpoenaed by the federal grand jury as well as the substantive information actually obtained and considered by the grand jury pursuant to those subpoenas," Jackson wrote. "This approach is proper under Exemption 3 because disclosure of the documents would reveal the contents of a grand jury subpoena, which is prohibited in this circuit ... and they would shed light on how the grand jury went about its work."

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