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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 1, 2019

Los Angeles Woman Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Federal Sex Trafficking Offense

          LOS ANGELES – A South Los Angeles woman who described herself on social media as “The Most Hated Hoe in L.A.” and who admitted using the Internet to solicit minors to engage in commercial sex acts has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

          Melanie Denae Williams, 23, was sentenced Thursday by United States District Judge George H. Wu, who also ordered her to pay restitution to her victims.

          In November 2018, Williams, who used the moniker “Pretty Hoe” on social media platforms, pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion – an offense that carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.

          According to her plea agreement, Williams admitted to abusing a woman she recruited via social media to work as a prostitute. Williams ordered the victim to strip off her clothes, then Williams threw bleach on her and used a broomstick to beat her, according to court documents. Williams continually threatened to kill the victim if she left Williams, court papers state. Williams also forced the victim to get Williams’s name tattooed on her face, and confiscated the victim’s belongings and identity documents, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

          Williams also admitted to using the Internet to recruit two minors to engage in commercial sex acts and then retaining the proceeds from the minors’ sex acts for her own use and benefit.

          Williams also posted social media videos of her physically abusing and using firearms to threaten young women, according to the affidavit.

          The investigation 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.

Contact: 
Thom Mrozek Spokesperson/Public Affairs Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) 213-894-6947
Press Release Number: 
19-011
Updated February 1, 2019