States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man convicted of Sex Trafficking of a Child, Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking of a Child, and two counts of Sex Trafficking by Means of Force, Fraud, or Coercion was sentenced on March 17, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.
Mohammed Sharif Alaboudi, age 45, was sentenced to life imprisonment on each of the four counts, and a $400 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
On December 5, 2013, Alaboudi was convicted by a federal jury for Sex Trafficking of a Child, Conspiracy to Engage in Sex Trafficking of a Child, and two counts of Sex Trafficking by Means of Force, Fraud, or Coercion.
Alaboudi is the third person in the past four years to receive a life sentence for human trafficking in the District of South Dakota.
In 2011, the Sioux Falls Police Department (SFPD) Street Crimes Unit began investigating a criminal organization operating in and around Sioux Falls. Witnesses identified several individuals they claimed had been selling narcotics and prostitutes. In January 2012, the SFPD requested federal assistance, and a team consisting of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the SFPD, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation began investigating the case.
Investigators discovered that Alaboudi was living in a one-bedroom, upstairs apartment in a house several blocks from downtown Sioux Falls. Alaboudi lured multiple girls and young women to his home, where he provided drugs and alcohol. Then he would force them into engaging in sex acts with him and others who arrived at his residence, paying them with money and drugs. Witnesses described being drugged to the point of being unable to defend themselves. Alaboudi also used severe violence and threats of violence to coerce his victims into engaging in sex acts. Multiple witnesses described being beaten with objects and being threatened with further violence if they did not comply.
“Mr. Alaboudi ran a house of horror where girls and young women were assaulted and forced to engage in sex acts with strangers,” said Johnson. “This sentence ensures that he will no longer be able to profit from the pain and misery he inflicted on the most vulnerable women and children in our community.”
This case was investigated by the SFPD, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Koliner and Jeff Clapper prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Alaboudi was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.