Robin Boyle Laisure, JD; Friday, June 24, 2022; 12:00 PM-12:50 PM
Coercive control can be looked at from the perspective of the manipulator using drugs as a tool to control the victim. There are two spheres where the use of drugs have been used to establish coercion. In one sphere, federal prosecutors have brought human trafficking cases based upon the trafficker supplying drugs, then withholding drugs, and continuing to manipulate the victims to create a coercive environment to cause the victims to engage in commercial sex, for the perpetrator’s gain. Human trafficking cases against three defendants resulted in long-term convictions: Andrew Fields (Florida), Jeremy Mack (Ohio), and Monta Croce (Wisconsin). In those cases, the prosecutors framed a human trafficking case around the theory of coercive control. They argued it was used by the trafficker to control the victims to do what he wanted for his gain. For human trafficking, an element of the crime is whether the perpetrator used fraud (lies), force (physical), or coercion. These cases were built on the theory that coercion was used. In another sphere, a victim came forward complaining of a doctor, Ricardo Cruciani, at Beth Israel Medical Center in NY, who prescribed powerful opioids to a patient, Tanisha Johnson, increased the doses, and eventually sexually abused her. The use of drugs to control and coerce the victim may be a new way to think about coercive control. It could also be applicable in cult-like organizations.
Robin Boyle Laisure, JD
Robin Boyle Laisure, JD, Professor of Legal Writing, St. John’s University School of Law, is on the editorial board of ICSA’s International Journal of Cultic Studies. She lectures on topics concerning cults and the law. In 2005, she received the Faculty Outstanding Achievement award from the President of St. John’s University. Her publications relevant to cultic studies include:
- With co-author Andrea Laisure, in ICSA Today (Vol. 8, no. 3, 2017): Staying Safe: Observing Warning Signs of a Dangerous Liaison.
- Employing Trafficking Laws to Capture Elusive Leaders of Destructive Cults, Oregon Review of International Law (2016).
- Current Status of Federal Law Concerning Violent Crimes Against Women and Children: Implications for Cult Victims, Cultic Studies Review (2002).
- How Children in Cults May Use Emancipation Laws to Free Themselves, Cultic Studies Journal, (1999)
- Women, the Law, and Cults: Three Avenues of Legal Recourse – New Rape Laws, Violence Against Women Act, and Anti Stalking Laws, Cultic Studies Journal (1998).