Colorado man convicted in Des Moines of sex trafficking

DES MOINES, Iowa-  A Colorado man's been convicted in Federal Court in Des Moines, of sex trafficking, after a three day trial. 

Prosecutors said 33-year-old Antoine Lee Washington coerced a female victim into sex acts for money for several years, traveling to multiple states.

The victim ended up at an Urbandale hotel in September last year, and called the hotel desk for help.   She told  police she had been beaten and burned.   Investigators suspected she had been the victim of sex trafficking and notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Washington will be sentenced December 5th, 2018.   He faces a minimum of 15-years in prison, to life for human trafficking.  He also faces a minimum sentence of 10-years for transportation for prostitution.

The U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Iowa also released the following statement:  

Human trafficking is defined as a crime involving the exploitation of youth under the age of 18  for commercial sex; the exploitation of adults for commercial sex through the use of force, fraud, or coercion; and the exploitation of any individual for compelled labor. 

Human trafficking does not require the transportation of individuals across state lines, or that someone is physically restrained. 

Signs that a person is being trafficked can include working excessively long hours, unexplained gifts, physical injury, substance abuse issues, running away from home, isolation from others, or having a person in their life controlling them or monitoring them closely. 

Anyone who suspects human trafficking is occurring, be it a minor engaging in paid sex acts, or anyone being coerced into prostitution or labor, is urged to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.

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