BridgeTower Media Recaps McGuireWoods’ Pro Bono Efforts for Human Trafficking Survivor

November 29, 2018

McGuireWoods’ pro bono fight to obtain justice for a woman who endured 10 years of forced servitude as a child at the hands of a religious cult was featured in a Nov. 26 story by a news service that feeds regional law publications across the country.

BridgeTower Media Newswires — which publishes Virginia Lawyers Weekly and North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, among other legal periodicals — wrote about efforts by McGuireWoods associate Betsy Hutson to help Kendra Ross collect her $8 million court judgment.

The story noted that Hutson and the legal team representing Ross recently secured a bench warrant for the arrest of Royall Jenkins, the leader of the cult, for contempt of court for ignoring a federal judge’s orders allowing the plaintiffs to find and seize assets from Jenkins and his organization.

“It’s an order for U.S. Marshals to apprehend him and force him to comply with those court orders and post judgment discovery,” Hutson told the news service.

Ross was 2 years old when her mother joined the United Nations of Islam (now known as the Value Creators) and brought her into a cult whose followers are taught that Jenkins is the “Supreme Being.” At age 11, Kendra was removed from her mother, forced to work without pay at cult-owned businesses across the country and care for households of up to 18 people. She fled the organization in 2012 at age 21.

McGuireWoods took on Ross’ case pro bono and in May 2018, obtained the largest known single-plaintiff award for human trafficking in U.S. history. Working with Hutson on the legal team that represented Ross were Jonathan Blank and Phillip Chang; associates Lauren Cafferty Mahaffey, Chris McEachran, Kayla Marshall and Katlyn Davis Farrell; international attorney Andrew Thornton-Dibb; and counsel Cristin Traylor.