Los Angeles Woman Pleads Guilty to Federal Sex Trafficking Charge
LOS ANGELES – A South Los Angeles woman who called herself “The Most Hated Hoe in L.A.” on social media pleaded guilty today to a federal sex trafficking offense and admitted she used the Internet to solicit minors to engage in commercial sex acts.
Melanie Denae Williams, 23, who used the moniker “Pretty Hoe” on social media platforms, pleaded guilty to sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion. She entered her plea before United States District Judge George H. Wu.
As a result of today’s guilty plea, Williams faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and will be required to pay restitution to her victims.
According to her plea agreement, Williams abused a woman she had recruited through social media to work as a prostitute. In one incident detailed in court documents, Williams ordered the victim to strip off her clothes, then Williams threw bleach on her and beat her with her hands and a broomstick. Williams also forced the victim to get Williams’ name tattooed on her face, confiscated the victim’s belongings and identity documents, and continually threatened to kill the victim if she left Williams, according to an affidavit filed in this case.
Williams also posted social media videos of her physically beating and using firearms to threaten young women, the affidavit states.
Williams also admitted in the plea agreement to using the Internet to recruit two minors to engage in commercial sex acts. Williams would then retain the proceeds from the minors’ sex acts for her own benefit.
Judge Wu scheduled a sentencing hearing for January 28.
The investigation into Williams was conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, which included agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and deputies with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. The Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office provided substantial assistance in the investigation and prosecution.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Lana Morton-Owens and Joseph Axelrad of the Violent and Organized Crime Section.