Orange woman sentenced for role in sex trafficking
Published 12:10 am Wednesday, June 29, 2022
LAFAYETTE, La. – A 23-year-old local woman was sentenced to prison for her role in a sex trafficking case that involved numerous underage females.
U.S. District Judge James D. Cain Jr. sentenced Calista Jenee Winfrey of Orange to 3 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced the case details this month as part of a large sex-crimes case.
Kevondric Fezia, 26, of Houston was sentenced to more than 27 years in prison in relation to the same case.
Both defendants have been ordered to serve five years of supervised release after their release from prison.
Fezia and Winfrey are each ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,500.
Fezia and Winfrey were charged with sex trafficking and attempting to entice a minor to engage in prostitution.
Fezia was convicted by a jury in Lafayette, Louisiana, following a two-day trial, and Winfrey pleaded guilty to sex trafficking in February.
Brown said evidence presented revealed that in November 2020, Fezia was recruiting minor females to engage in prostitution and began communicating with a 14-year-old female in Lake Charles.
Fezia was well aware when he began communicating with her that she was a minor but still pursued her and tried to convince her that she would profit by engaging in prostitution through him.
The minor victim made a decision to run away with Fezia to Texas.
On Feb. 13, 2021, he picked up the minor victim and took her to Texas. Winfrey and Fezia were well aware that the victim was only 14 years old, but they continued to try and convince her to engage in prostitution.
Both defendants traveled with the minor victim to a hotel in Beaumont and introduced her to a 16-year-old prostitute who was also working for Fezia.
Winfrey engaged in multiple acts of prostitution in the presence of the minor victim at the hotel, continually trying to convince the minor victim that she should also engage in prostitution.
Fezia took photographs of both minor girls and the other prostitutes he was employing. He then posted them on his Instagram account as an advertisement, along with a visible geo tag showing those who saw the advertisement where to go to engage in sexual acts with the girls.
When the minor victim’s grandmother realized she had run away from home, she began looking at the child’s social media accounts and found the communications between her granddaughter and Fezia.
She then contacted law enforcement. Law enforcement officers were able to identify Fezia and found him at his apartment in Houston, along with other prostitutes and the minor victim. He attempted to hide her in the closet, but she and the other 16-year-old prostitute were found.
The Department of Homeland Security and Lake Charles Police Department investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Luke Walker and John W. Nickel prosecuted.