The feds have not accused Joseph Hazley of murder.
But they do say he pimped 16-year-old Desiree Robinson on Backpage.com and delivered her to grown men for sex until she finally wound up dead in a Markham garage with her throat slit on Christmas Eve 2016.
And that, a federal judge said, is “ bad enough.”
However, a prosecutor also revealed new allegations against Hazley during a hearing Monday, including a claim that he once tossed a woman through a wall and generally “treats women like dogs.” So U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman shot down yet another bid by Hazley for freedom while awaiting his October trial.
Still, the judge said she did not consider the written comments submitted by Desiree’s mother, Yvonne Ambrose, who said she feared for her family’s safety and insisted, “there are so many other children left to protect from him.”
Ambrose has taken her fight against Backpage.com all the way to the Oval Office. But Coleman said she didn’t want Ambrose’s emotional comments to unduly prejudice Monday’s hearing. So a prosecutor read Ambrose’s statement into the record.
Hazley’s attorney, Raymond Wigell, told the judge her decision was “not about a mother’s grief,” but about whether Hazley should be let out of jail under strict conditions to prepare for trial. He said Hazley has no significant criminal history, and his stable family would keep him on the straight and narrow.
Wigell called it a “given” that Hazley would be subjected to GPS monitoring and barred from the Internet and any contact with minors other than family.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Parente said the case against Hazley has only gotten “much, much stronger” since he was last denied freedom in July 2017. By then, the feds had already spoken to a second trafficking victim of Hazley’s.
Now, he said they’ve spoken to a third who corroborated the second victim’s testimony and insisted Hazley choked and hit that woman and threatened to drop her off somewhere to “fend for herself.”
Parente also said the mother of Hazley’s child has claimed he tossed her through a wall and dragged her down a hallway. She reported broken ribs and insisted Hazley “treats women like dogs,” Parente said.
The prosecutor said that woman saw Desiree at Hazley’s house in December 2016 and commented, “you look young as hell” while asking the girl for her ID. Parente said Hazley then dragged the woman out of his house while she insisted, “that b—- looks so young.”
Earlier this month another man, Charles McFee, pleaded guilty and admitted he had delivered Desiree to Hazley for a “finder’s fee” of $250.
Desiree ran away from her grandparents’ home in November 2016, according to court records. The feds say she spent the final month of her life living with Hazley, who gave her the nickname “Nicki.” He advertised her “companionship” on Backpage.com, arranged for her to go on multiple dates a day, gave her clothing to wear, drove her to appointments and acted as security.
Hazley allegedly sold Desiree to her accused killer, Antonio Rosales. The feds say Hazley slept in his car with his girlfriend while Desiree was murdered.
The feds seized Backpage.com earlier this month and unsealed an indictment against its founders that accused it of publishing ads depicting children who authorities said were sex trafficking victims.