Prolific Sex Trafficker Sentenced to 16 Years Prison
PORTLAND, Ore. – Rashad Q. Sanders, 28 was sentenced to 194 months in federal prison yesterday by U.S. District Judge Marco A. Hernandez, after pleading guilty to three counts of a superseding indictment charging him with the sex trafficking and transportation of three minors. Sanders was also sentenced to 10 years of supervised release and will have to register as a sex offender.
The investigation began in September of 2008 when Sanders made contact with two minors aged 16 and 17 via the internet. He ultimately convinced both of them to leave the State of Minnesota and travel to Portland, Oregon to work for him as prostitutes. Sanders purchased Greyhound Bus tickets for the minors and picked them up at the bus station when they arrived in Portland. Thereafter, Sanders took the girls to a local hotel and provided one of the minors with a false identification card that showed her to be over 18. He gave her instructions to register a room under the false name. The same day he helped the minors obtain cellular phones. Later in the evening he used his laptop computer to post pictures of the minors in commercial sex advertisements online via Craigslist.com. Thereafter, the victims started receiving calls from paying customers and engaged in sex acts for money. The girls complied with Sanders instructions to give him all the money they made from prostitution. After a short period of time, the girls realized they didn’t want to work for Sanders anymore and tried to leave. At that time, Sanders became angry and punched one of the girls in the head, knocking her down the hotel stairs. The other minor ran from the hotel, entered a stranger’s home, and asked if they would call 911. By the time the police arrived, Sanders had fled the area, leaving his laptop and other possessions.
On May 4, 2011, Sanders was arrested on a state charge of compelling prostitution at the Palms Hotel in Portland, Oregon. At the time,“C.C.”, a 15 year old, was a passenger in the front seat of his car. On that date, the police were called by staff at the Palms Hotel because Sanders would not pay for double occupancy on a room that he rented. When they contacted CC she said that Sanders was her pimp and brought her to the hotel for a prostitution date. She said that Sanders had drugged her and forced her to work as a prostitute for him. Inside Sanders’ car, the police found lingerie, condoms, and a cell phone that was used to receive calls from “C.C.” customers. “C.C.” was taken to a local hospital and interviewed. In the days and months that followed, “C.C.” began to tell a consistent story about how she met Sanders about a year earlier when she was 14 year old. Also, about how Sanders provided and injected her with methamphetamine. Additionally, she shared over time he convinced her to work for him as a prostitute beginning about December of 2010.
At the sentencing hearing, Sanders did not express any remorse for the minors and told Federal District Court Judge Hernandez that these minors are not victims and blamed them for his current situation.
This case was investigated by the Portland Police Bureau, FBI, and the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kemp Strickland.