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UTAH STATE PRISON — Parole hearings were recently held for an Ogden couple convicted of exploiting vulnerable women and coercing them to work as prostitutes.
But while one of the defendants was apologetic and became emotional while speaking, the other stumbled over his words and had a hard time coming up with any answers for what happened, according to a recording of the May 7 hearing.
In January 2018, Lynnsie Reddish, 22, and Terrance Chavez Jones, 32, were sentenced to one to 15 years each in the Utah State Prison for their convictions of human trafficking. Prosecutors say the couple recruited women who were typically battling drug addiction or who were homeless and would use their drug addiction as a way to control them, providing drugs when they made money working as prostitutes, and withholding drugs when they failed to comply. Reddish recruited the women while Jones was considered the "muscle" of the operation, according to prosecutors.
Both had parole hearings on May 7 at separate times.
During Reddish's hearing, she told the board that she, too, was battling addiction at the time.
"It was severe to the point I couldn’t function,” she told Board of Pardons and Parole pro tem member Steven Roth.
Reddish also said she was trapped in the mindset of pleasing Jones, or other men, for validation.
"I’m a monster," she said as she got emotional during her hearing. "I've always cared so much about my pride and protecting my co-defendant’s pride. I don’t care about that no more. I am who I am and I made the choices that I made and they’re inexcusable.
"I never wanted to go that route, but I was so lost into that game. And the game was a powerful thing,” she continued. "I want to apologize to my victims. My actions were inexcusable. I betrayed them as women."
Reddish also said there were more women who were victims of her actions who did not come forward at trial.
Roth told Reddish she was saying all the right things during the hearing, but she still had more work to do while in prison, including taking more substance abuse treatment classes.
Jones admitted he used force and threats on his victims and hit at least two women. But when asked how he went from working a normal job to engaging in human trafficking, he stumbled on his answers.
"There’s no explanation I can give for what I did and there’s no reason for it,” he said. "I just kinda lost myself there."
At one point, Jones said he "just dropped the ball."
"I don’t even know what I was thinking at the time," he said. "I basically (long pause) used women."
The full five member board will vote on whether to grant parole or set a date for a new hearing.