Miami Beach Doctor Arrested for Human Trafficking
March 16, 2023 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes Social Share
In criminal cases involving minors, the consequences of a conviction can be extremely harsh. This is especially true for alleged sex crimes against children. In one recent Florida case, a Miami Beach doctor has been charged with human trafficking—along with several other charges—for soliciting teenage girls for sex.
This page will provide the details from the case, along with helpful information regarding the relevant charges in Florida.
What was the Incident?
Miami Beach Dr. Jeffrey Kamlet has been arrested on multiple charges for allegedly soliciting and trafficking teenagers he met on Tinder. According to Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office, the offenses were committed between April 27th and August 3rd, 2022.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office was contacted by one of the teenage girl’s mothers to report her 17-year-old daughter and her 16-year-old friend missing. The mother used a phone tracker to trace the girl’s phone to a Miami Beach condominium owned by Kamlet.
According to the report, police arrived at the condo and questioned Kamlet about the girls’ whereabouts. The physician then told officers that “the girls had wanted to stay the night with him to escape from a Black man with a gun who was trying to prostitute them,” stated a news release from the State Attorney’s Office.
After further questioning, Kamlet told police that the girls were 18 and had shown him identification. He stated he had met the girls from the dating app Tinder. When the police went to question the two girls, Kamlet is overheard on a body camera video instructing:
“Girls, tell them the truth, tell them the story you told me. That’s the one I know. Don’t get me in trouble for any of your bull—-, all I was trying to do was help you.”
Kamlet attempted to assure the officers that “nothing sexual went on.” However, when police interviewed the teen girls, they described the sexual activities with Kamlet in detail. They also informed law enforcement of a stash of drugs in a gun safe inside the defendant’s condo. The 17-year-old admitted to being given cocaine by Kamlet, and that the stash also contained oxycodone, Xanax, and ketamine.
Kamlet has been charged with counts of human trafficking for sexual activity, solicitation of a child, unlawful sexual activity with a minor, delivery of a controlled substance, and interference with the custody of a child.
The defendant is currently being held on house arrest and had to surrender his passport, as he also has an office in Mexico. Kamlet was a physician specializing in addiction and internal medicine. He had twice served as the president of the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine.
Solicitation of a Child Charges in Florida
Solicitation of any person for sexual conduct is illegal in Florida. However, the consequences are even more severe if the victim is a minor.
Under Florida Statute Section 847.0135, it is unlawful for any person to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or person believed to be a child to engage in any illegal act or unlawful sexual conduct. It is also unlawful for any person to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice the parent, legal guardian, or custodian of a child for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct.
A person charged with solicitation of a child can face a third-degree felony in Florida. However, if the person misrepresents their age, they can then face a second-degree felony in Florida.
Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor
Under Florida law, it is illegal for any person 24-years-old or older to engage in any sexual activity with a person who is between the ages of 16 and 17-years-old. If this law is violated, the defendant can be charged with a second-degree felony. The penalties for a second-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
“Sexual activity” is defined under Florida Statute Section 794.05 as the oral, anal, or female genital penetration by, or in union with the sexual organ of another or the anal or female genital penetration of another by an object.
Important: The victim’s sexual history cannot be used as a defense for a charge for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Interfering with Child Custody
The state of Florida makes it unlawful for any person to interfere with a parent or guardian’s custodial rights of a minor. This includes another parent or guardian of the minor. Under Florida Statute Section 787.03(1), a person has committed the criminal offense of interference with child custody if they knowingly or recklessly take, entice, aid, abet, hire, or otherwise procure to take or entice a minor with the malicious intent to deprive another person of his or her right of the custody of the minor.
Violating Florida law by taking, detaining, or concealing a minor from their parent or guardian can be charged with a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.
One of the harshest criminal charges a person can face in Florida is human trafficking. Human trafficking is considered a form of modern day slavery, which is why it is so heavily prosecuted under both State and Federal law.
Florida Statute Section 787.06 defines the criminal offense of human trafficking as when a person knowingly and in reckless disregard, engages in the act of transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing, enticing, maintaining, or obtaining another person for the exploitation of labor, services, or commercial sexual acivity. The person accused of human trafficking is accused of benefitting from the trafficking offense, whether financially or by other means.
There are differences in what the prosecution must prove in a human trafficking case, depending on the age of the victim. If the person who was human trafficked was over the age of 18, the State must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the adult victim had been coerced into providing labor, services, or commercial sexual acts.
However, if the victim of human trafficking is a child, then the State is not required to prove that the child had been coerced. There are two elements that the state has to prove for a case of human trafficking involving children. The children were trafficking, and the children were being exploited for sexual services or labor services in which the defendant derived a benefit. To prove that the children were trafficked, the state will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the children were:
- Procured, or
- Obtained for the purpose of exploitation.
In Florida, a person who has been accused of human trafficking a minor can be charged with a life felony. The penalties for a life felony include up to life in prison, life on probation, and up to a $10,000 fine.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
Sex crimes against children are some of the most severe charges a person can face in Florida. A conviction will likely affect the rest of your life, with the possibility of life imprisonment, hefty fines, and being a registered sex offender for life. This type of accusation is far too serious to take lightly. If you or a loved one have been accused of any of the charges mentioned above, it is in your best interest to speak with a sex crime defense lawyer in Tallahassee, FL.
Don Pumphrey and his attorneys have represented clients across the state for various criminal charges. We understand the stress and anxiety the defendant is under, and want to help alleviate that to the best of our ability. We will fight for your case and your freedom, and protect your rights in the process. To speak with a defense attorney about your case today, contact Pumphrey Law Firm at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.
Written by Karissa Key