Council Bluffs, Iowa businessman convicted of sex trafficking minors

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(Council Bluffs, IA) -- A long time Council Bluffs businessman and restaurant owner has been convicted of sex trafficking minors. Prosecutors say over the last 10-years, 71-year-old Hershal Ratliff had minor girls come to his house and perform sex acts in exchange for money, drugs, or other items. Ratliff owns Jimmy's All American Malt Shop and Grill in Council Bluffs.

The verdict came after a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge John Jarvey.

The US Attorney's Office-Southern District of Iowa says evidence at trial showed Ratliff provided minor girls with alcohol, prescription Xanax, and marijuana at his residence. Evidence also showed he obtained sex acts for his friends from adult women by use of force and coercion.

Ratliff was convicted of four counts of sex trafficking minors, two counts of sex trafficking adults, and two counts of distributing a controlled substance to a person under twenty-one years of age.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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