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Florence's 'DJ Kidd' trying to intimidate trafficking victims from behind bars: Prosecutor

WPDE Myrtle Beach/Florence 12/9/2021 Julia Varnier
Florence's 'DJ Kidd' trying to intimidate trafficking victims from behind bars: Prosecutor
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Jason “DJ Kidd “ Pope, who's indicted on 19 charges in connection with a human trafficking case in Florence, appeared in court on Wednesday for a bond reduction hearing.  

He was once again denied bond. 

South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Craig Brown, who presided over the hearing, could revisit the situation in April if Pope's case isn't tried.

Caption: Florence's 'DJ Kidd' trying to intimidate trafficking victims from behind bars: Prosecutor

The 42-year-old appeared in court virtually from the Florence County Detention Center where's he's been held for the past 28 months.

Attorneys with the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office said during Pope’s initial bond hearing in August 2020 that he’s a very dangerous person.

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© Provided by WPDE Myrtle Beach/Florence

Prosecutors told the judge Wednesday that Pope is trying to harass, intimidate, threaten and bully the victims, even while behind bars.

From jail, where he is right now, he is getting the word out, and still trying to intimidate victims. He does not recognize that anything he did was wrong, and if he were to be let out of jail, there is absolutely no way to protect the public from Jason Pope," said Heather Weiss, S.C. Deputy Attorney General. 

Pope's lawyer, Rose Mary Parham, says he doesn't have a violent bone in his body.

Parham said Pope would live with his mother in Florence if the judge had given him bond.

Parham said Pope's father recently died of cancer and his mother had been caring for him for the past year and a half until his death. She said Pope's mother could monitor her son while he was out on bond.

Parham told the judge Pope has a childlike mind in many ways.

“He just doesn’t understand your honor. Because these were his girlfriends. He thought he had loving relationships with them. He bought them gifts they had consensual sex. Everything, in this case, is consensual, sexual conduct. Now the state alleges that some of these girls were underage. And, what, what the defense would say is every girl represent it to him that they were of age. And had a relationship with him. And accepted gifts from him. And all of that. Again your honor, Jason. He has the mentality of a teenager. He is on the same level with.”

Weiss said a mental evaluation on Pope found that he was able to stand trial. Parham told the judge she is trying to get a private or independent evaluation done on Pope. Weiss said when the second evaluation is done, they'll be able to move forward with setting a trial date for Pope. Judge Brown gave Parham until April 11 to have the evaluation done.

Brown also said a possible trial could be held in the spring, as well.

© Provided by WPDE Myrtle Beach/Florence

Warrants said Pope recruited women and underage girls and had sex with them on various occasions between September 2017 and July 2019, providing the victims with money and gifts in exchange. They also say he held some victims against their wills in Darlington and Florence in order to have them perform sex acts.

Prosecutors said there are seven victims in this case.

Warrants said Pope knew some of the victims were under the age of 18, although they did not say if any of the women held against their wills were underage.

The additional accusations are included in the incident and supplemental reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

When asked for all of the incidents involving Pope about which police wrote reports, no matter how he was involved. The Florence County Sheriff's Office provided 14 incidents ranging from December 2011 to April 2019.

Pope was listed as the subject or suspect in nine of the incidents and the complainant or victim in four. He was involved in one of them as a third-party.

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Five of the nine reports where Pope was listed as the subject were sex-related. Only one, filed on Christmas Eve in 2011, involved an adult woman. In them, he was accused of sending her pornographic texts.

The first of the four involving underage girls happened shortly before that on Dec. 4, 2011. The report says two girls aged 13 and 16 walked into a hospital and told doctors they had unprotected sex with the then-34-year-old.

The girls told police Pope had given them marijuana and money in exchange for sex.

An investigator was called to the scene, but the public portion of the report ends.

The South Carolina Attorney General's Office is prosecuting the case.

Stay with ABC15 for updates. 

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