Both sides rest in Shoals human trafficking trial

Shoals

Timothy Staggs

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FLORENCE, Ala. – The jury is expected to get the case Thursday in the human trafficking trial of two men accused of forcing women into sexual favors in exchange for getting them out of jail.

Both the prosecution and defense rested Wednesday in the trial of businessman Timothy Staggs and attorney Chip Dillard.

Chip Dillard

Staggs and Dillard are accused of taking advantage of women in the Lauderdale County Detention Center by forcing them into sexual servitude as payback for getting them out of jail. Prosecutors say the men used intimidation, drugs and money as power over the women.

Attorneys for the two men claimed the women weren’t forced to have sex. Dillard’s attorney referred to them as “sugar babies,” during opening statements. Staggs’s attorney said prostitution was taking place — not human trafficking — and that the scheme to get out of jail was initiated by the women.