Alabama Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking of a Minor
A federal jury convicted an Alabama man of sex trafficking of a minor and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Jr. of the Middle District of Alabama.
Michael Graham Lowe, 25, of Prattville, Alabama, was found guilty yesterday after a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler of the Northern District of Alabama. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.
“These defendants manipulated and sexually exploited a child in order to feed their own illegal drug habit,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Cronan. “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our prosecutors and federal, state and local law enforcement partners, they will be held to account for their crimes. This case is representative of the Department’s commitment to ending the sex trafficking of children, which all too commonly is facilitated by online advertisements, and bringing their traffickers to justice.”
According to evidence presented at trial, in or about May 2016, Lowe and co-defendant Joshua Rose conspired to sex traffic a minor victim at the Stay Lodge motel in Montgomery, Alabama. Rose advertised the underage victim on Backpage, and with the assistance of Lowe, arranged meetings for the victim to engage in commercial sex acts, and stood outside of the motel room while the victim engaged in commercial sex acts. Lowe also transported the minor victim to another location to engage in commercial sex acts. Lowe and Rose used the money earned from the victim’s commercial sex acts to purchase illegal narcotics.
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Prattville, Alabama Police Department, with assistance from the Montgomery, Alabama Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service and Alabama Attorney General’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Leslie Williams Fisher of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Hollie Reed of the Middle District of Alabama.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.