Jason Roger Pope, a South Carolina resident known as Dj Kidd, shot to fame for the wrong reasons when he was arrested in August 2019. Considering the myriad of complaints against Pope, authorities probably should have arrested and indicted him a lot sooner.
Pope’s alleged crimes have angered the African American community, which is disproportionately affected by human trafficking. A special report by Essence published in October 2020 found that a ‘high percent of missing children of color are part of the sex/human trafficking trade.’
This piece looks at Jason Roger Pope’s story.
Pope is in jail awaiting trial on several counts, including first-degree criminal sexual conduct
Jason Pope awaits trial on several charges: three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, three counts of trafficking in persons, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor, and one count of promoting the prostitution of a minor and kidnapping.
Arrest warrants obtained by WMBF News alleged that between July 2017 and July 2019, Pope lured four girls into his home for sex.
The warrants state that between September 2017 and December 2017, Pope forced a 16-year-old, identified as J.H., to engage in sex acts. Pope threatened the victim to perform further sexual acts for money.
The girl called authorities in December 2017, telling deputies that she felt like she wanted to hurt herself because Pope was spreading stories about her on social media. She accused Pope of paying her for sex and manipulating her into performing sexual acts.
J.H. stated that most of the sex was consensual, but Pope ‘brainwashed her and took advantage of her.’ She alleged that DJ had sexual relationships with multiple teenage girls aged 15-16. She stated that Pope offered prospective victims work before trying to bribe them with money.
According to J.H., Jason told the girls his father was a federal judge, so he could get away with anything. Following J.H.’s complaint, authorities recovered evidence showing Pope promising money for sex. The police also learned that Pope often filmed sexual encounters with teenage girls.
The arrest warrants allege that between July 2018 and September 2019, Pope sexually assaulted a 16-year-old dubbed A.B. and paid her for sex. They also claim that around July 2019, Pope sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl and paid her for sex acts.
Several people, including Pope’s family member, accused him of sexual misconduct
In December 2011, the Florence County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from Carolina Hospital about a complaint lodged by a 13-year-old girl. The girl claimed she’d had sex with Pope and later discovered he was infected with AIDS. She said Pope offered her marijuana and money for sex.
A 16-year-old girl claimed Pope had taken both girls to his home on Lakeview Drive and had sex with them. Both girls said Pope didn’t use a condom and they were concerned about contracting AIDS from him. Pope was listed as a subject on the report but, curiously, wasn’t questioned or arrested.
Pope faces no charges of intentionally infecting a person with HIV. A Change.org petition with over 6,000 signatures aims to pressure the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office into charging Pope with intentionally infecting ‘hundreds of black women with HIV.’
The petition alleges Pope took pride in infecting black women with the disease, hoping they would transmit it to black males. Therefore, the petition’s drafters propose that prosecutors include hate crime charges in Pope’s indictment.
In May 2018, a woman reported Pope to the police, accusing him of communicating with her 15-year-old daughter via Facebook and Snapchat. The woman alleged Pope had several pictures of underage women on his social media pages.
Pope’s Facebook account has several pictures of black women, some of them in sexually suggestive positions, but there’s no indication they are underage.
In May 2018, a female family member of Pope’s told authorities that he was having sex with minors. She said Pope paid girls for sex and posted about it on social media. Furthermore, she alleged that Jason’s misconduct had been happening for a long time but had recently worsened.
She claimed to be severely affected by Pope’s actions because she knew some of his victims. Pope’s family member alleged that the DJ sent her sexually explicit messages and touched her bottom when he hugged her. She threatened suicide if authorities failed to act on the information she’d given.
Thankfully, the family member sought professional help to aid with her mental health.
Pope was denied bond, with the prosecution stating he was intimidating witnesses
The court has denied Pope bond several times, citing the likelihood that he’ll intimidate witnesses, injuring the prosecution’s case.
In a late 2021 application for bond, Pope’s attorney, Rose Mary Parham, said Pope isn’t violent. Parham said Pope’s mother would monitor him if he got out on bond.
She painted Pope as a person with a childlike mind who enjoyed gifting people for consensual sex. “He bought them gifts, they had consesual sex,” Parham said. She continued:
“Now the state alleges that some of these girls were underage. And, what, what the defense would say is every girl represent it to him that they were of age. And had a relationship with him. And accepted gifts from him. And all of that. Again your honor, Jason. He has the mentality of a teenager.”
The prosecution opposed the bond application, stating that Pope was trying to harass and threaten the victims, even while behind bars. Heather Weiss, the Deputy Attorney General, said:
“From jail, where he is right now, he is getting the word out, and still trying to intimidate victims. He does not recognize that anything he did was wrong, and if he were to be let out of jail, there is absolutely no way to protect the public from Jason Pope.”
South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Craig Brown ruled in favor of the prosecution, rejecting Jason Pope’s bond application.
Pope has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1995
Jason Pope has a long rap sheet dating back to a December 1995 conviction for impersonating a police officer. The court handed Pope a suspended one-year sentence and two years probation.
Two months later, Pope was convicted of promoting prostitution with a minor and handed a suspended sentence of 30 months in jail. In August 1997, Pope was found guilty of assault and battery. He got away without jail time as the court ordered him to pay a fine.
In January 1998, Pope was convicted of resisting arrest and trespassing. He was ordered to pay fines for both charges. Several months later, Pope paid another penalty for a disorderly conduct conviction.
In late 2000 and early 2001, Pope spent 90 days in jail on a forgery charge. In September 2001, prosecutors charged Pope with forgery and secured a conviction. The judge gave him a suspended sentence of five years and two years probation.
In October 2002 and January 2007, Pope was charged with operating a business without a license. In May 2003, Pope was arrested for driving under a suspended license.
For three years, Pope avoided run-ins with the law. In May 2006, he was charged with malicious property damage, and several months later, he was arrested for illegally distributing a recording.
A year later, a court found Pope guilty of illegally distributing a recording and handed him a suspended one-year sentence. In November 2011, Pope was fined for the unlawful use of a telephone. Pope faced his first sexual misconduct allegation in December 2011.
In September 2018, deputies found a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old in Pope’s residence, which had a strong odor of marijuana. Pope was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor and was convicted of two counts of cruelty to children.
In April 2019, Pope allegedly argued with a 17-year-old employee of a Zaxby’s restaurant in Florence County. During the argument, which also involved another employee, Pope threatened to ‘shoot up the Zaxby’s and take care of everyone.’
The person who reported Pope stated that the DJ had called the restaurant severally to harass employees.