Jason Roger Pope, known around the Florence, South Carolina nightlife scene as DJ Kid (or Kidd), was arrested for a laundry list of charges related to sex trafficking minors - all Black girls. Investigators fear there are hundreds of more victims who haven’t and won’t come forward.
The 42-year-old party promoter was arrested in August and is being held without bond on three counts of trafficking in persons, three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and a count each of kidnapping, second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and promoting the prostitution of a minor.
An arrest warrant alleges that between July 2017 and July 2019, Pope forced four underaged girls to perform sex acts at his home. A 17-year-old victim told police that he gave her money, drugs and/or other items in exchange for sex.
Reports document that his youngest victim was heartbreakingly just 13 years old.
He is reported to have bragged in a Facebook post that “I’m 36 with 693 BODIES (All Black females), WBU?” Given Pope’s current legal battle, it’s unclear if the bodies he meant were consenting women of adult age, sex trafficking victims, minors or a terrifying combination of all three.
“I suspected a long time ago that things weren’t right over there because of who he had coming in and out. They looked like they were very young, underage maybe,” said an unidentified neighbor of Pope’s, who at times witnessed girls entering and exiting the residence.
Not only did neighbors and family members suspect (and report) that something was wrong, but investigators also have been aware since 2011 of Pope, when Florence County deputies answered a sexual misconduct call from a hospital!
There they found a 13-year-old girl who had been sexually assaulted by Pope. He had not used protection and was rumored to have HIV/AIDS. The girl told officials a friend introduced her to him, and that he had given her alcohol and drugs.
Deputies soon learned that she wasn’t the only victim he had assaulted that very same day. There was another who reiterated the fear that Pope had exposed her to HIV/AIDS.
The over-sexualization of Black girls, in the eyes of authority figures, is a troubling and all too common phenomenon. Georgetown University’s Law Center researchers call it an “adultification bias.” In the Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure Of Black Girls’ Childhood study published in 2017, it was revealed that “adults view Black girls as less innocent and more adult-like than their white peers, especially in the age range of 5–14.” This prejudice results in a lack of support and protection toward Black girls, and it is more likely that adults will assume they know more about adult topics such as sex or drugs.
The consequences of these assumptions are that those charged with young girls’ care and security encourage negative outcomes related to their education, general welfare, and any incidents involving law enforcement and the criminal justice system instead.
Put plainly, Pope knew his criminal activities weren’t likely to raise any suspicions from the average onlooker because the victims were Black girls.