Sentencing delayed after convicted sex trafficker claims he’s hearing voices

Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A man convicted of a 2019 sex trafficking crime in Tampa was set to be sentenced Wednesday afternoon, but he repeatedly brought up his competency, telling the judge he has recently heard voices.

Darien Pease, Jr., is in jail for the sordid incident involving a 15-year-old girl.

According to court documents, Pease was found guilty of sleeping with the juvenile victim, who is not named in the paperwork.

In January 2019, Pease took the victim to an apartment complex gym bathroom near the University of South Florida to commit a sex act on another man, court records show.

“Through text communication, they arranged to meet at the complainant’s apartment complex in order for the juvenile victim to defecate on the complainant for $350.00 in U.S. currency,” a search warrant shows.

The paperwork said the victim was unable to commit the act and instead vomited on the man.

Shortly thereafter, Pease showed a gun and struck the man with the weapon, detectives wrote.

Pease was eventually arrested by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office detectives.

They searched his cell phone, records show, and came across websites used to engage in prostitution.

Months later, Pease was found guilty by a jury.

“I’m hearing voices. And mentally I’m just not in the position to answer those questions,” he told Judge Mark R. Wolfe Wednesday.

Pease, who represented himself at trial, then went on to cite Florida law and bring up issues with the judge.

“Your honor, the court has not demonstrated an ability to follow the rules of criminal court,” he said.

Wolfe, who seemed to grow increasingly frustrated with Pease, managed to push through.

“Are ya’ll trying to kill me?” Pease said while Wolfe was talking.

“Sir, do not over speak the court! Sir, do no over speak the court!” Wolfe said.

Wolfe granted Pease the opportunity to again speak to a pre-sentence investigator before he is sentenced.

“Working hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners, we are aggressively targeting human traffickers and sexual predators,” said Andrew Warren, State Attorney for Hillsborough County. “Although the Tampa Bay area is a known epicenter for human trafficking, this office will not tolerate the victimization of our children, not here, not now, not ever.”

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