Palm Beach County Woman Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking of Minors
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that Mandi L. Bowman, of Palm Beach County, pled guilty today before U.S. District Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp in West Palm Beach, Florida, to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children, in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 1594.
Sentencing has been scheduled for July 11, 2012. At sentencing, Bowman faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to life in prison.
This case resulted from an investigation into a website advertising escort services. During the investigation, an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a client contacted a minor female to meet for a commercial sex act. When the minor arrived at the meeting place, the officer told the minor that he was a police officer and not a client. The minor told the officer that Bowman assisted the prostitution ring by setting up the website advertisement and by teaching her how to schedule appointments and negotiate prices.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the West Palm Beach Police Department, the Jupiter Police Department, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lothrop Morris.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.