OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
MAY 5, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HUMAN TRAFFICKING RESCUE PROJECT
FORMER BLUE SPRINGS WOMAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
FOR SEX TRAFFICKING OF DAUGHTER
CHILD SOLD AS SEXUAL DOMINATRIX FOR
BOTH ONLINE, IN-PERSON SESSIONS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Blue Springs, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for the sex trafficking of her daughter. When this case was originally charged in May 2008, it was the first time nationwide that the parent of a victim has been charged with commercial sex trafficking of her own child under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
The 46-year-old woman, previously of Blue Springs, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this morning to 15 years in federal prison without parole. The court ordered her to pay $200,000 in restitution to the victim for medical services relating to current and future physical, psychiatric, or psychological care. The defendant is not being identified in this release in order to protect the victim’s identity.
Both she and co-defendant Todd B. Barkau, 37, of New York, also formerly of Blue Springs, pleaded guilty on Sept. 24, 2009. Barkau remains in federal custody and awaits sentencing.
Barkau, with the assistance of the victim’s mother, obtained control of the then-12-year-old girl in 2000. With her mother’s knowledge and consent, Barkau sexually groomed and trained the child to become a BDSM (bondage-domination-sadism-masochism) sexual dominatrix. He did so by engaging in BDSM activities with the child himself, forcing her to engage in sexual activities with other men while he watched, and using BDSM pornography over the Internet to teach her techniques and skills to use as a dominatrix.
Barkau resided in the same home as the child and her mother, who allowed Barkau to engage in BDSM activities with the child and teach the child techniques to become a sexual dominatrix. When the child was 14 years old, Barkau created a business out of the home where he advertised the child over the Internet as a 19-to-20-year-old BDSM dominatrix, “Mistress Alisha,” on a Web site that he created called www.EvilMistressAlisha.com. The victim’s mother suggested the name “Alisha” for the child because it was her own former stripper name.
For two years, Barkau sold the child, as “Mistress Alisha,” to sexually dominate men during online Web sessions and in-person BDSM activities. This included, among other things, bondage, beatings, burning, and genital mutilation. The customers paid for the sexual services via PayPal cash transfers and with “tributes,” which were products that served in lieu of cash payment; for example, a DVD player, a cappuccino machine and other electronics.
The victim’s mother knew the child was performing as “Mistress Alisha” on the Internet and in her home and witnessed some of the sessions herself. In committing the offenses, Barkau utilized the victim’s mother to assist and encourage the child to serve as the dominatrix for Barkau’s illegal BDSM business. The victim’s mother accepted financial benefits from Barkau in exchange for her cooperation and support of the child’s BDSM activities.
Under the terms of a binding plea agreement, the government and Barkau jointly recommend a sentence of 25 years in federal prison without parole for Barkau.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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