News and Press Releases

human trafficking rescue project

former blue springs man sentenced to 25 years
for sex trafficking of child

Child sold as sexual dominatrix for both online, in-person sessions

July 27, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Blue Springs, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for the sex trafficking of a child.

Todd B. Barkau, 38, of New York, formerly of Blue Springs, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey to 25 years in federal prison without parole. Following his prison term, Barkau will spend the rest of his life on supervised release. The court also ordered Barkau to pay $200,000 in restitution to the victim for future counseling costs.

On Sept. 24, 2009, Barkau and a co-defendant, a 46-year-old woman previously of Blue Springs, each pleaded guilty.

Barkau’s co-defendant, who is not being identified in this release in order to protect the identity of her daughter, the victim, was sentenced on May 5, 2010, to 15 years in federal prison without parole. She is jointly and severally liable to pay $200,000 in restitution to the victim. When this case was originally charged in May 2008, it was the first time nationwide that the parent of a victim had been charged with commercial sex trafficking of her own child under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

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 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.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Return to Top