Sex Trafficking Strikes Close to Home

nceducator
Posted May 28, 2018 from United States

    Four counties over from where I live in North Carolina, a man was sentenced to thirteen years in Federal prison for the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Many in the area feel that thirteen years was way short of a just sentence.

    Here is the full story from The Wilson Times:

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By Olivia Neeley

olivia@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7879

A Wilson man will spend more than 13 years in federal prison for the sex trafficking of a teenage girl. 

U.S. District Court Judge Louise W. Flanagan sentenced 39-year-old Kenneth Corvon Ward in a New Bern federal courtroom Thursday. After he serves an active sentence, he will also be subject to five years of supervised release. 

Ward had previously pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor and aiding and abetting, according to U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon’s office. 

“This case represents just how low some among us will go to victimize others, for personal gain and for profit,” Higdon said in a statement. “Today’s 13-plus-year sentence is a small comfort for the young victim, but it should send a message to those who victimize our children that we will not allow it.” 

In December 2015, the FBI and the Raleigh Police Department investigated the sex trafficking case of a minor. 

Agents identified a young girl who was reportedly being sexually exploited by several people, including Ward, officials said. 

William Maurice Saddler, who was convicted by a federal jury in November 2017, began an illicit dating relationship with the victim when she was 13 or 14, prosecutors said. Saddler forced the girl into prostitution at migrant camps around Wilson when she was 15 years old. He is expected to be sentenced for his role in the crimes in June and faces 15 years to life in prison. 

CRACK SUPPLIER

Saddler used “violence, fear, and manipulation to force the victim to continue prostituting to support” his crack cocaine habit, prosecutors said. And Ward was Saddler’s crack supplier. 

Ward, along with his girlfriend, 23-year-old Yadyra Marlene Brown, met the young victim in September or early October of 2015 and began prostituting her, according to prosecutors. 

Ward and Brown promoted the 15-year-old victim by posting advertisements on Backpage.com, officials said. Ward and Brown also took multiple photographs of the victim for those ads. Ward kept money the victim earned, too. 

VICTIM RESCUED

On Dec. 5, 2015, Raleigh police determined Ward and Brown were prostituting the victim in a Garner hotel room. That’s when police and FBI agents executed an operation to rescue the victim, prosecutors said. 

Authorities found the victim there with Brown. 

Ward, who was seen at the hotel, fled but was later arrested. In August 2017, Brown pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor and was sentenced to roughly 3 ½ years in prison with five years supervised release. 

“I want to thank agents of the FBI and NCSBI and officers of the Raleigh Police Department, the Wilson Police Department and the Wilson County Sheriff’s Department for their hard work and for their commitment to fighting those who would traffic our children,” Higdon said in a statement. 

OTHERS INVOLVED 

Two others involved in the sex trafficking case include 41-year-old Bobby Ray Williams Jr. and 40-year-old Temeeka Neshaune Honey.

Honey, who previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, was sentenced in April to a five-year and one-month prison term. 

Williams, who previously pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor, was sentenced to 15 years behind bars. Williams and Honey will both be required to register as sex offenders at the end of their active prison terms.

Comments 10

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coolasas
May 28, 2018
May 28, 2018

Hello Dana,
No amount of punishment can equal the feeling of abuse these girls experienced in the hands of their trafficker. Although I don't like to say "it is better than nothing" I hope the judge is correct to say that the 13 years given to one trafficker resonate to those thinking of exploiting girls in the future for personal gain.

Keep the vigilance and keep giving hope with your stories.

Coolasas

nceducator
May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018

thanks so much for your supportive comment. Hard for me to believe that this crime happened just 30 min. from our State Capitol. A shameful act. Praying that the young lady has the support she needs.

Jill Langhus
May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018

Hi Dana. Thanks for sharing this article on this poor girl who had been trafficked. I don't feel that 13 years is long enough either. I keep thinking about how long, if ever, it takes for these poor girls and women to ever get over such horrendous acts of violence.

nceducator
May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018

Yes, I keep thinking that also. I don't think of this type of abuse happening in the U.S.
Thanks you for your comment.

dana

Jill Langhus
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018

Oh, yes. It really is, unfortunately:( You're welcome. Hope you have a great day!

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Jun 01, 2018
Jun 01, 2018

Hello, Dana,

13 years is too kind for the trafficker, while it takes more than 13 years for the girl to heal completely from the trauma. I don't want to be a judge, but issues like this brings anger to me, I would sentence the worse for sexual violators.

Sister Zeph
Jun 19, 2018
Jun 19, 2018

Dear Dana

Thank you for sharing, this has given me a hope that still there is a law and order in our world

Jensine Larsen
Aug 21, 2018
Aug 21, 2018

Dana, how painful to have this happen so close to home. Speaking up is the first step, we have to transform and heal this toxic culture of violence and bring justice and healing.

Beth Lacey
Mar 19
Mar 19

This is such a tragic story that unfortunately is replicated across the world

Urmila Chanam
Apr 16
Apr 16

Dear Nceducator,
Trafficking of children, young girls and women or forced sexual work, rape and sexual violence and murder of victims to silence litigation are on the rise globally and it is time we resort to new and evolved mechanisms to address these issues.Stringent punishments, counselling to jail inmates, stringent monitoring after release from jail besides education of rights of children, girls and women to boys and men and mentoring assertiveness to girls and women to fight for their rights. I have a big concern over the changing sexual behaviour of our youth too which is influenced by pornography which does not give dignity to girls and women. This discussion makes me anxious and intimidated because the cause is varied and so is the solution.
Love and prayers,
Urmila Chanam,
India

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