You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Louis Man Sentenced on Sex Trafficking Related Charges

St. Louis, MO – Sean McChord O’Donnell was sentenced to 60 months in prison and 3 years supervised release for 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 and paid her to engage in commercial sex acts. He also drove her on prostitution calls, provided security for her, rented hotel rooms for her and lent her money. The defendant also posted online advertisements on her 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, 53, of St. Louis, MO, pled guilty in December to one felony count of Racketeering Using Interstate Facilities to Promote, Manage, Establish and Carry on the Unlawful Activity of Prostitution.  He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig.

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

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 16, 2018