CHILD SEX TRAFFICKER SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS IMPRISONMENT
BATON ROUGE, LA – Acting United States Attorney Walt Green announced today that U.S. District Judge James Brady sentenced ERICK BANKS, age 32, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 108 months imprisonment for conspiring to traffic a child in the commercial sex trade. BANKS was also sentenced to five years supervised release after imprisonment and ordered to pay the victim $1,200 in restitution.
During his guilty plea hearing last year, BANKS admitted that in January 2011, he enticed the victim, a 15 year old girl, to engage in acts of prostitution. Several days earlier, the victim ran away from a Baton Rouge home for teenage girls. BANKS placed several ads on an online service often utilized by those in the commercial sex trade. BANKS used the moniker “Sinsational” or “Blonde Bunny” to describe the victim in the ads. BANKS instructed the victim how to engage in telephone conversations with potential customers and how to determine if a customer was a law enforcement officer.
On January 27, 2011, in five separate transactions, the victim engaged in sexual activity in exchange for money. Each of these transactions was coordinated by BANKS and occurred in a hotel in Baton Rouge. The victim was paid approximately $1,200, all of which BANKS took from her.
Acting United States Attorney Walt Green stated: “We will not tolerate the sexual exploitation and trafficking of vulnerable, young teenagers, and hope this significant sentence serves notice to others inclined to engage in such despicable conduct. We appreciate the strong work of the FBI and the Baton Rouge Police Department and commend the Middle District Human Trafficking Task Force for its efforts in educating law enforcement and the public in general about this issue. We are also inspired by the courage of the victim in this case and hope it inspires other victims of sex trafficking to come forward.”
This investigation was conducted by the FBI and Baton Rouge Police Department. The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Frederick A. Menner, Jr. and Susan C. Amundson.
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