Justice News

Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
St. Louis Woman Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison on Federal Sex Trafficking Charge

WASHINGTON – A federal judge today sentenced Waquita Wallace to 20 years in prison and five years of supervised release for a federal civil rights charge of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion for compelling a young St. Louis woman to commit acts of prostitution, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Loretta King for the Civil Rights Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Michael W. Reap for the Eastern District of Missouri.

U.S. District Court Judge Carol E. Jackson sentenced Wallace, who had previously pleaded guilty and is the last of three defendants in this case to be sentenced on sex trafficking related charges. April Chaney and Richard Harper were previously sentenced to 60 months and 27 months in prison respectively for their roles in this crime.

"Sex trafficking violates individuals’ basic human rights, stripping them of their dignity and freedom," Acting Assistant Attorney General King said. "The damage done to the victim in this case cannot be reversed, but I applaud the investigators and attorneys who brought these defendants to justice and it should send a message that we will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s civil rights laws."

In announcing the plea, Acting Assistant Attorney General King, and Acting U.S. Attorney Reap commended the FBI and the St. Louis Metro Police Department for their work in this cooperative investigation and prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Marcus and Trial Attorney Jim Felte of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit prosecuted this case for the government.

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