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Dallas woman convicted of child sex trafficking

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A federal jury convicted a Texas woman Monday for her role in a child sex trafficking conspiracy to recruit and exploit a child in multiple states, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI.

“Sex trafficking — especially when it involves preying on children and forcing them into commercial sexual exploitation — subjects victims to appalling cruelty,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Chiou. “Combatting human trafficking remains one of our office’s top priorities. Working closely with our law enforcement and community partners, our dedicated prosecutors are focused on bringing traffickers to justice and off the streets, away from victims.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, from August 2018 to September 2018, Demecia Shontres Washington, 42, of Dallas, Texas conspired with co-defendant Jimmy David Washington Jr., 35, of Lubbock, Texas, to recruit and coerce a child — who had not yet reached 18 years old — to engage in commercial sex acts and to produce child pornography. Demecia Washington and Jimmy Washington Jr. transported the child from Texas to New Mexico and Nevada with the intent that she engage in prostitution.

After a six-day trial, Washington was found guilty of one count each of: conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; sex trafficking; conspiracy to transport for prostitution or other criminal sexual activity; transportation for prostitution or other criminal sexual activity; conspiracy to sexually exploit children; sexual exploitation of children; and distribution of child pornography. U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon presided over the trial and scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 1, 2021.

The statutory maximum penalty for sex trafficking, transportation for purposes of prostitution, and conspiracy to commit those offenses is life in prison, with mandatory minimum penalties of 10 years for each offense. The statutory maximum penalty for sexual exploitation of children and conspiracy to commit that offense is 30 years in prison, with mandatory minimum penalties of 15 years for both offenses. The statutory maximum penalty for distribution of child pornography is 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum penalty of five years for that offense.

Co-defendant Jimmy Washington Jr. previously pleaded guilty to transportation of a minor for purposes of prostitution. He was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison, to be followed by 15 years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Burton and Bianca Pucci are prosecuting the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc.