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State not pursuing human trafficking charge against Tallahassee man

The state failed to file formal charges
Man arrested for human trafficking of teenage girl in Tallahassee
Posted at 5:30 PM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2019-06-19 19:29:05-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Ryan Hogans, a man charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious behavior to a minor as well as possession of cocaine, bailed out of jail earlier this week.

But now we're learning that there's a human trafficking charge that is not being pursued at this time.

Simply put, the state doesn't feel that there is enough evidence to charge Hogans with human trafficking.

Hogans was arrested in early November 2018, after police were notified and found the underage victim being advertised for sexual contact. Investigators went undercover to make contact with Hogans and the victim.

Later, Hogans admitted to having cocaine in his car, and also having sexual relations with the victim. The victim, however, did not cooperate during the interview.

After more than 240 days in jail, Hogans' lawyer was able to get him out, since the state failed to formally charge him with human trafficking.

When the case went back to court Wednesday, Hogans was not there. His lawyer says they are still in discussion with the state on a few matters, including plea negotiations.

A representative with the Children's Home Society tells me that it's not uncommon for victims to be reluctant to talk after being pulled from a trafficking situation. The representative also told WTXL that the victim's statement carries a lot of weight when charging individuals.

A man accused of sex-trafficking a 14-year-old victim in Tallahassee has been released from jail.

Ryan Hogan, 40, was arrested in November 2018 for human trafficking and two counts of lewd or lascivious behavior with a victim between the age of 12 to 16 after Tallahassee Police discovered a website advertising sexual contact with a 14-year-old victim.

Undercover officers arrested Hogans after they set up a meeting with him under the guise that they were going to pay for oral sex with the victim.

Additionally, Hogan was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of narcotic equipment following his arrest.

On June 4, lawyers for Hogan filed a motion for his release on the human trafficking charge because the state has not formally charged him with human trafficking. Hogans was originally arrested for 'public order crimes forced labor or services by human trafficking."

"The State of Florida has not filed on the charge of human trafficking, but noted on the information that the charges are being 'left open,'" Hogan's attorney, Joseph Bodiford, wrote. Citing the law, his attorney wrote that more than 40 days have passed so Hogans shouldn't remain in custody on the human trafficking charge any longer unless he's been formally charged with a crime.

The state didn't object to the motion, so Circuit Judge Francis Allman granted the order.

Hogans was released from jail on Monday after paying $27,500 to bond out on the lewd or lascivious battery and possession of cocaine charges. He was also released on his own recognizance on the possession of narcotic equipment charge.

As part of his conditions for release, Hogans has been ordered to stay away from all minors except for his own children and is required to wear a GPS monitor. He has also been ordered to stay in Leon County.

Hogans is due back in court on Wednesday. We'll have more on this developing story.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A man has been arrested for the human trafficking of a 14-year-old victim in Tallahassee. 

Ryan Hogans, 40, was taken into custody by the Tallahassee Police Department on Tuesday. 

That same day, officers were notified of a 14-year-old victim being advertised for the purposes of sexual contact on a website. The advertisement appeared to be targeting the Tallahassee area. Investigators say the ad was in the female escorts section of the website, listing the posted person as being 21 years old.

Documents say there were multiple photos shown, which officers used to positively identify the victim. Using an undercover phone number, officers called the number on the ad and set up a meeting with Hogans at a predetermined location to pay $120 for oral sex with the victim. 

Once they met at the location and saw the victim, undercover officers arrested Hogans.

While still on scene, officers stated the vehicle needed to be searched for evidence. Documents say Hogan then spontaneously stated, "I will let you know there there is cocaine in the car," which officers managed to find. 

Officers then conducted an interview with Hogans at the Tallahassee Police Department.

While talking with officers, he stated he met the victim about two months ago. He claimed the victim had turned 20 a few days ago.

According to court documents, Hogans told officers he picked the victim up so they could hang out. He said he was going to take the victim back home, but the victim asked to be dropped off at the predetermined location where officers were. 

Hogans also admitted to officers that the victim, who was 13-years-old at the time, performed oral sex on him before they engaged in sexual intercourse last month. 

The victim was taken to the Children's Advocacy Center, but refused to cooperate to a full interview. The victim told officers that Hogans was just a guy the victim met that day and "hung out" with for a period of time before being dropped off.

However, documents say witness accounts and text messages didn't corroborate the victim's story.

Based on the evidence, Hogans is being charged with public order crimes forced labor or services by human trafficking, possession of cocaine, two counts of lewd or lascivious behavior with a victim between the age of 12 to 16, and possession of narcotic equipment.  

He was taken to the Leon County Detention Facility and his bond has been set at $13,000.