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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 7, 2017

St. Louis Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Related Charges

St. Louis, MO – Sean McChord O’Donnell pled guilty to charges of racketeering, involving the use of interstate facilities to promote prostitution occurring between November 2016 and January 2017.

 

According to court documents, in November 2016, O’Donnell travelled to the First Western Inn, 4828 North Broadway, Saint Louis, Missouri.  He did so to meet with a 21-year-old heroin addicted prostitute referred to as MB and paid MB to engage in commercial sex acts. He also drove MB on prostitution calls, provided security for her, rented hotel rooms for her and lent her money. The defendant also posted online advertisements on MB’s behalf on escort/prostitution websites. During the course of a late November visit, O’Donnell observed 15-year-old Jane Doe in the hotel lobby. Jane Doe had just recently left her pimp. Jane Doe was a missing juvenile and St. Louis County Police had been looking for her since September 2016.  O’Donnell handed Jane Doe his card and told her to call him. O’Donnell subsequently engaged in commercial sex acts with Jane Doe.

 

Between late November and January 2017, Jane Doe moved between several hotels in St. Louis City and St. Louis County, Missouri. O’Donnell rented most of the rooms for Jane Doe since she had no identification. O’Donnell began to post and pay for Jane Doe’s advertisements on Backpage.com.  The defendant took pictures of a scantily clad Jane Doe, which were included in postings. He posted the advertisements with her pictures using his email address.  O’Donnell continued to engage in commercial sex acts with Jane Doe and took explicit photos of Jane Doe and used his phone to send images to others.

 

Officers had been searching for Jane Doe since September 2016, and on or about January 23, 2017, observed her image on Backpage.com.  Police attempted to arrange a prostitution visit with Jane Doe and determined that she was at the Econolodge at 4576 Woodson Road, in a room rented by O’Donnell. On January 24, 2017, officers were able to locate and retrieve Jane Doe from a motel room.

 

O’Donnell, 52, of St. Louis, MO, pled guilty to one felony count of Racketeering Using Interstate Facilities to Promote, Manage, Establish and Carry on the Unlawful Activity of Prostitution before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig. Sentencing has been set for March 18, 2018.

 

This charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.  In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

 

This case was investigated by the St. Louis County Police, Bridgeton Police, St. Charles County Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Howard Marcus is handling the case. 

 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 7, 2017