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article imageHarrison Norris known as 'Hardbody Harrison' convicted on a variety of sex charges

By patxxoo     Nov 22, 2007 in Crime
Women lured by the promise of a better life by being trained as professional wrestlers by a well known former wrestler instead found themselves forced to perform sexual acts and held against their will.
One of the charges Harrison Norris was convicted of in Atlanta, GA. Wednesday, was peonage which is the the practice of holding a person in servitude or partial slavery, as to work off a debt or to serve a penal sentence and is of course illegal.
The women (see pdf file) who were targeted were poor and vulnerable in some way, such as some who were homeless, some who had drug addictions and some who were convicted felons, those he found "had no future" and "had a desire to achieve."
Ledgers were found where the women's debts were kept track of, some of whom he had paid legal fees or bail monies for, then told they had to live in his homes to repay their debts to him.
Those debts of course kept adding up, debts such as paying $250 dollars a month rent on half a room, $20 a week for groceries which is not much at first look, but when you look at the facts that the only money these women were allowed to earn was through certain daily services they would perform for him and their other keepers, were on a point system that were given and taken away on their keepers whims.
The money they received through the prostitution situations he placed them in, such as going to different dance clubs and charging for dances and sexual acts, he kept in it's entirety.
When some refused to participate in these acts some had food withheld, raped, beaten, forced to watch other women abused and threatened to be sold to other pimps, which some claim did happen to two women.
In 2001 Norris was charged with pimping, then in 2004 a woman ran out of a store to a police officer and told him she was being held against her will, when the officer investigated he found Norris with seven other women in the store. All seven gave identical stories of how they were with him voluntarily, that is until they were separated, then, their stories changed and two of the women actually asked to be arrested in order to get away from the situation they found themselves in.
At that time a search was done of Norris's car. Ledgers of money owed and paid and a suitcase with sex toys and condoms were found. He was arrested for three counts of false imprisonment and later released on bond.
In 2005 a woman claimed to have escaped his home by cutting the screen in the bathroom and climbing out the window while she was supposed to taking a shower and notifying the police. A few weeks later the screen being cut was verified by an officer and later her story was inadvertently corroborated by two of Norris's cohorts that stated they knew of one of the former residents leaving the home by cutting a hole in the screen, but that everyone living with Norris was free to leave as they pleased.
The other charges he was convicted of were forced labor, aggravated sexual abuse, sex trafficking and other charges involving five victims, and on conspiracy charges involving three others. Jurors acquitted him of charges involving a ninth victim.
His mother had this comment to make, as reported in ajc regarding her sons case:
[quote]"It still ain't over," said Lucille Norris, who insisted the allegations and charges against her son were racially motivated. The defendant is African-American, and most of his alleged victims are white.
Norris defended himself with the help of a court-appointed lawyer and will most likely file an appeal. He is being held at a detention center in Union City until Feb. 28, 2008 which will be his sentencing date.
A sidenote to this case: An Aimee Allen, 33, of Cartersville, GA. and Cedric Jackson, 39, of Chamblee, GA. have also been charged with a variety of counts in this case.
More about Hardbody harrison norris, Sex slavery abuse, Pro wrestler convicted