A popular South Carolina promoter and disc jockey appeared in court Monday on human trafficking and child sex crimes charges, Florence station WBTW reported.
Jason Roger Pope, 42, remains in jail without bond after withdrawing his request for a bond hearing. Pope’s attorney, Mary Parham, didn’t give a reason for the withdrawal.
The local DJ, who was arrested in August, faces 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.
Arrest warrants obtained by WMBF News show that between July 2017 and July 2019, police say 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.
One of the suspect’s victims is listed as young as 13.
“I suspected a long time ago that things weren’t right over there because of who he had coming in and out,” said a longtime neighbor of Pope’s, who recalled several young-looking girls stopping by the home.
“They looked like they were very young, underage maybe,” he added.
Photos posted to the suspect’s Facebook page, which is still active, shows Pope posing and partying with mostly young African-American women in an album titled, “DJ KID (PARTIES & GIRLS — Part 1).” In one of the pictures, he’s seen grabbing a young woman by the buttocks as she straddles him in her underwear. He pulls another girl’s pants down in a separate photo, exposing her thong.
According to a Facebook screenshot, Pope reportedly once bragged that “I’m 36 with 693 BODIES (All Black females), WBU?”
In September, the party promoter reportedly sexually assaulted a 16-year-old, identified in arrest warrants as “A.B.” He is accused of paying the teen for sex. A similar incident occurred months earlier when a 14-year-old also claimed Pope paid her to have sex with him.
The allegations didn’t stop there, however.
In 2011, Florence County deputies responded to a sexual misconduct call at a hospital where a 13-year-old girl said she had unprotected sex with Pope and later found out he was said to have had AIDS. She said a friend introduced her to the DJ, who gave her alcohol and drugs, per an account TV station WMBF gave of the report.
The suspect allegedly assaulted a second victim that same day, who told deputies she too feared she had contracted AIDS from the man, the station said.
Those cases apparently were resolved without charges, but how and why that happened remain unclear.
In 2018, Pope was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor but he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of two counts of cruelty to children, WMBF News reported
Although Pope is now behind bars, authorities believe there may be several more victims.