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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


OCTOBER 30, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


HUMAN TRAFFICKING INITIATIVE


KC MAN INDICTED FOR FORCED SEX TRAFFICKING,

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today on charges related to the commercial sex trafficking of four female victims and the sexual exploitation of a fifth female victim, who was a minor.


            Michael L. Buck, 35, of Kansas City, was charged in a seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. A motion for detention has been filed with the court, seeking to have Buck detained in federal custody until his trial.


            “Today’s indictment reflects our commitment to human dignity and freedom,” said Wood. “Our Human Trafficking Initiative is designed to protect and assist trafficking victims and to bring their oppressors to justice.”


            Today’s indictment alleges that Buck engaged in the commercial sex trafficking of one victim who was coerced to engage in prostitution, and attempted to engage in the commercial sex trafficking of two more victims, between January and June 2008. Buck allegedly attempted to engage in the commercial sex trafficking of the fourth victim between April 1 and Aug. 19, 2006.


            Buck is also charged with attempting to produce child pornography. Buck allegedly engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a fifth victim, who was a minor, and attempted to produce child pornography from March 1 to June 30, 2003.


            In addition, Buck is charged with one count of transporting one of his victims across state lines to engage in prostitution, as well as one count of document servitude for confiscating government identification documents, including a victim’s driver’s license.


            In a motion filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, the government seeks to have Buck detained without bond due in part to the nature and circumstances of the alleged offenses. According to the government’s motion, Buck lured women with the intention of forcing them into prostitution for his own criminal commercial profit; if his victims resisted, they often suffered violent abuse. During the course of the coercion, the motion alleges, he violently beat, choked, burned, tied up, and sliced the women when they would not comply with his demands or attempted to escape from his hold. The women sustained a variety of injuries, including, bruising, cuts, flesh burns, internal bleeding, loss of consciousness and loss of bladder control.


            The motion also asserts that Buck videotaped his sexual exploitation of some of the women, including attempting to produce child pornography of a minor female.


            Today’s indictment also contains a forfeiture count, which would require Buck to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged offenses, including $8,000.


            If convicted, Buck would be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole for three of the four sex trafficking counts as well as the child pornography count, up to life in federal prison without parole, plus an order of restitution.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html