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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 26, 2016

Cleveland man sentenced to 14 years in prison for trafficking three teen girls

A Cleveland man was sentenced to 14 years in prison for trafficking three teenaged girls, said Carole S. Rendon, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office.

Ronnie Pratt, 22, trafficked three 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 usually kept about half 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. He 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.

“This defendant made his living taking advantage of runaways,” Rendon said. “He pushed girls as young as 13 into events that will take them a lifetime to overcome.  His sentence, at the highest end of the applicable sentencing guidelines range, appropriately reflects the incredible damage he has done and the just punishment for his crimes.” 

"While Mr. Pratt will serve 14 years for his crimes, his young victims will be affected for a lifetime," Anthony said. "Law enforcement will continue to assist victims of human trafficking in obtaining the support they need and ensuring individuals like Pratt are brought to justice." 

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bridget M. Brennan and Carmen Henderson following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Topic: 
Human Trafficking
Updated October 5, 2016