Albuquerque Man Arraigned on Federal Sex Trafficking Charges
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico
Prosecution Brought under Project Safe Childhood
ALBUQUERQUE – Last week, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Adonis Baker, 32, of Albuquerque, N.M., and Leotha Williams, 56, of Memphis, Tenn., with sex trafficking offenses. Yesterday Baker was arraigned on the indictment in federal court in Albuquerque, entering a not guilty plea, and was ordered detained pending trial during a detention hearing this morning. Williams was arrested in Little Rock, Ark., on Sept. 25, 2017, and is in the process of being transported to New Mexico to face the charges in the indictment.
Baker and Williams are charged in a 12-count indictment, which was filed on Sept. 21, 2017, with committing a series of commercial sex trafficking offenses between June 2012 and June 2015. The indictment charges Baker with forcing five adult victims and one victim under the age of 18 to engage in commercial sex acts, and transporting the victims across state lines for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. The indictment charges Williams with forcing one of the adult victims to engage in commercial sex trafficking and transporting that victim across state lines for the purpose of engaging in prostitution. According to the indictment, the defendants committed the crimes in Bernalillo County, N.M., from June 2012 through at least Aug. 2017.
If convicted on the crimes charged in the indictment, the defendants face the following penalties:
- Baker and Williams each face a statutory mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison on the sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion charges;
- Baker and Williams each face a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on the interstate transporting for illegal sexual activities charges;
- Baker faces a statutory mandatory minimum of 15 years and a maximum of life in prison on the sex trafficking of a child charge; and
- Baker faces a statutory mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in prison on the interstate transporting of a child for illegal sexual activity charge.
Charges in criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusations and defendants are presumed innocent unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by the Albuquerque office of Homeland Security Investigations, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office and the Albuquerque Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Letitia C. Simms is prosecuting the case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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 http://www.justice.gov/psc/.
Updated September 29, 2017