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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 4, 2021

Jury Convicts Council Bluffs Man of Sex Trafficking Omaha Victims by Force, Fraud, and Coercion

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that on November 4, 2021, after a four-day trial, a federal jury convicted Jesse Cody, 33, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, of Sex Trafficking multiple Omaha victims by force, fraud, or coercion, as well as coercing one of the victims, who was then in foster care and a ward of the Sate of Nebraska, to travel to multiple states outside of Nebraska where the defendant forced her to have sex with men for money for the defendant’s financial gain. 

The victim testified that the defendant beat, raped, and choked her when she would refuse to comply with the defendant’s demands.  The defendant defrauded another victim, a recent college graduate, into sex trafficking by misrepresenting to the victim the money that she could make prostituting herself and then the defendant took most of the money for himself.  Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. presided over the trial and accepted the jury’s verdict before setting Cody’s sentencing hearing for January 28, 2022, at 2:00 pm. At sentencing, Cody faces mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years on two of the counts and up to ten years of imprisonment each on the remaining two counts.  There is no parole in the federal system.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Omaha Police Department.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Human Trafficking
Updated November 9, 2021