Cleveland man indicted on human trafficking charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio
A Cleveland man was indicted on two counts related to human trafficking, said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office.
Ronnie L. Pratt trafficked two underage girls. He did this by taking photos of his girls and posting the photos on www.backpage.com. Pratt handled all text communications with potential customers and transported the girls to “dates.” He kept a portion of the money they were paid for commercial sex acts, according to court documents.
One of the girls was 13 when she began working for Pratt, according to court documents
Pratt had a gun that he used to intimidate at least one of the girls, according to court documents.
The conduct took place between July and November 2015, according to the indictment. The investigation is ongoing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Updated December 16, 2015