Anti-sex trafficking advocates criticize Judge Moreland - WSMV News 4

Anti-sex trafficking advocates criticize Judge Moreland

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Judge Casey Moreland (WSMV file photo) Judge Casey Moreland (WSMV file photo)

Advocates for victims caught in the sex trafficking trade are speaking out about a judge who's been the focus of Channel 4’s I-Team investigations.

General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland began a special court docket called Cherished H.E.A.R.T.S in early 2016. It’s designed to help prostitutes turn their lives around.

Moreland stepped aside from handling the Cherished H.E.A.R.T.S. docket in February as Channel 4 began airing our I-Team reports Influence, Infidelity & Men in Power.

C.C. Graves, who is pursuing her master’s degree in human trafficking, said she has a message for Moreland.

"You let us down. You let the victims down," Graves said.

The I-Team found Moreland granting favors for two women he traveled and socialized with.

Moreland exchanged explicit text messages with one of the women, Natalie Amos, while he was on the bench.

In Moreland’s texts to Amos, he referred to the women before him in court as “hos” and mentions letting them out of jail in time for the conventions.

"I was disgusted. I thought, he's supposed to be one of the good guys. He's supposed to helping these victims," Graves said.

"For everything you've reported on him, it was very discouraging. Because it just set the movement completely back," Graves added.

Cathy Gurley is the executive director of the victims’ rights group You Have the Power.

"It's very disrespectful, at the very least," Gurley said.

Gurley said she hopes the Cherished H.E.A.R.T.S docket will survive.

"It should continue because it's a great program," Gurley said.

"I hope that the strength of the program, Cherished H.E.A.R.T.S., and the other specialized courts that we have will be able to survive on their own merit and not be intertwined with any other actions,” Gurley added. “It's important to all of us.”

The Cherished H.E.A.R.T.S. docket is still going on in general sessions court. It's being handled by the presiding judge, Gale Robinson.

Moreland is still on the bench, but hearing other criminal cases. He is under investigation by the state board that disciplines judges.

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