Federal Law Enforcement Partners Commemorate National Human Trafficking Awareness Day--January 11, 2023
PORTLAND, Ore.—A Vancouver, Washington man was sentenced to federal prison today for facilitating and benefitting from the sex trafficking of multiple children.
Keonte Desmond Scott, 24, was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison and five years’ supervised release.
According to court documents and trial testimony, in 2016, after he was released from prison, Scott met and befriended Johnl Jackson, 34, also of Vancouver. Jackson sold Scott cocaine and began coaching him in commercial sex trafficking. In late 2016, Scott met and began a relationship with another Vancouver resident, Diana Petrovic, 23. Jackson helped Scott traffic Petrovic and they began using her to recruit and traffic other minor females.
By early 2019, several minors reported to law enforcement that they had been trafficked by Scott and Petrovic. During the ensuing investigation, authorities learned of two teen girls, then 14- and 15-years-old, respectively, who together had run away from their homes in Lane County, Oregon and were introduced to Scott and Petrovic at a mall in Vancouver. Petrovic took the girls to a home the girls believed was Jackson’s and gave them drugs and alcohol. Scott and Petrovic told the girls they would take them to an upscale party, but, instead, took them to a location in Portland where they were sold for sex. Eventually, the girls separated themselves from Scott and Petrovic, spent the night elsewhere, and were driven back home by one of the girl’s mothers the next day.
Throughout the summer of 2018, after Scott had returned to prison, Petrovic worked closely with Jackson to traffic minors, including of the girls from Lane County.
On May 8, 2019, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a six-count indictment charging Scott, Petrovic, and a third accomplice, Evan Blake Barajas, 24, of Vancouver, Washington, with sex trafficking of children and transporting minors with intent to engage in sexual activity. On December 4, 2019, a fourth accomplice, Jamil Timpke-Rhoades, 23, of Vancouver, Washington, was added as a co-defendant by superseding indictment.
On December 9, 2021, Scott pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking.
Barajas and Timpke-Rhoades are in custody pending a seven-day jury trial scheduled to begin on July 19, 2022.
On October 9, 2019, in a separate criminal case, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a three-count indictment charging Jackson and Petrovic with sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, and coercion; sex trafficking of a child; and transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity. Later, on December 4, 2019, Jackson and Petrovic were charged by superseding indictment with conspiring to engage in sex trafficking of children; sex trafficking of a child; sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, and coercion; and transporting a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity.
On July 22, 2020, Petrovic was charged by superseding criminal information with and pleaded guilty to distribution of controlled substances to persons under 21. She will be sentenced on April 3, 2023.
On March 11, 2022, Jackson was convicted at trial of one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking; three counts of sex trafficking of a child; two counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion; and three counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity. He will be sentenced on July 25, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug of the District of Oregon made the announcement.
This case was investigated by FBI Portland’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF) with assistance from the Tigard Police Department and Portland Police Bureau. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley Cadotte and Pamela Paaso with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly Zusman, Suzanne Miles, and Thomas Ratcliffe, and Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Glen Ujifusa.
The FBI CETF conducts sexual exploitation investigations, many of them undercover, in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. CETF is committed to locating and arresting those who prey on children as well as recovering and assisting victims of sex trafficking and child exploitation.
If you or someone you know is in danger, please call 911. If you are a human trafficking victim or have information about a potential human trafficking situation, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or by texting 233733. Calls and texts are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Human trafficking is a serious federal crime where individuals are compelled by force, fraud, or coercion to engage in commercial sex, labor, or domestic servitude against their will. Traffickers exploit and endanger some of the most vulnerable members of our society and cause unimaginable harm. In January 2022, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland launched a new national strategy to combat human trafficking that aims to prevent all forms of trafficking, prosecute trafficking cases, and support trafficking victims and survivors.