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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 1, 2016

Brooklyn Park Man Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Sex Trafficking Of A Teenage Girl

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger announced the sentencing of MYKEL LAMAR HARRIS, 25, for trafficking a teenage girl who he sold for sex. HARRIS, who pleaded guilty on January 25, 2016, was sentenced Thursday before U.S. District Judge Donovan W. Frank in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn.

“Sex trafficking is not just an international or national problem—it is also a local one,” said Assistant United States Attorney Laura M. Provinzino. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the children of Minnesota from commercial sexual exploitation by prosecuting those who harm children. We urge members of the community to continue to contact law enforcement when children are in danger.”

According to the defendant’s guilty plea, in September 2013, HARRIS used Facebook to recruit a teenage girl who was in high school at the time, to commit sex acts in exchange for money. HARRIS took partially nude photos of the victim and used them to advertise the victim on a backpage.com post linked to his personal email account. Over a three-day period in December 2013, HARRIS sold the victim for sex at a hotel in Roseville, Minn. Customers were charged $150 for a half hour and $250 for an hour. HARRIS took all of the money the victim collected for those sexual encounters.

According to documents filed in court, HARRIS again caused the victim to engage in commercial sex in January, February and April 2014, during which time she missed days of high school and at her legitimate place of employment. HARRIS used the victim’s own debit card to rent hotel rooms in which he sold her for sex.

The successful prosecution resulted from an anonymous tip handwritten on a backpage.com advertisement.  Based on the victim’s photographs, the tipster reported: “I am as sure as I can be ‘this is a child.’  Please do something!”

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura M. Provinzino.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Saint Paul Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.

 

Defendant Information:

MYKEL LAMAR HARRIS, 25

Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Sex trafficking of a minor, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 120 months in prison
  • 10 years of supervised release

 

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Topic(s): 
Human Trafficking
Component(s): 
Updated July 1, 2016