Area man gets 35 years for sex trafficking adult women by force
HOUSTON – A 29-year-old former Katy resident has been ordered to prison for conspiring to compel three adult women to engage in sex trafficking by means of force and violence in Houston and other locations across the country, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Marquis Holmes aka Goldie pleaded guilty June 13, 2019, to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by means of force, fraud and coercion; two counts of transportation to engage in prostitution; and two counts of enticing and coercing another to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.
Today, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake sentenced Holmes to 420 months for the conspiracy as well as 120 months and 240 months for the transportation and enticement convictions, respectively. The sentences will all run concurrently for a total 420-month-term of imprisonment. The court also heard from one of Holmes’ victims who described how he forced her to earn $1500 per day or suffer severe consequences. She described how Holmes physically assaulted her, which included kicking and whipping her repeatedly with a thick belt in order to exert his control. She said Holmes was amused during moments when he would physically assault her. The victim also detailed the paranoia, fear and depression she suffered for years after leaving Holmes.
In handing down the sentence, the court noted the heinous and violent nature of Holmes’ crimes. He will serve 20 years on supervised release following completion of his prison term, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. Holmes will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.
From June 2015 until his arrest in March 2018, Holmes scoured social media websites to recruit women, often under false pretenses, to work as prostitutes for him. Under threat of violence and actual violence, Holmes prostituted two of these women in Houston and Austin; New Orleans, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mississippi; Alabama; South Carolina and other locations across the country. Holmes coerced the women to pose for pictures used in online advertisements for sex and to engage in commercial sex acts for money. Holmes collected all the money the women earned.
On March 30, 2018, authorities arrested Holmes, at which time they rescued a third victim whom he had kidnapped in his residence along with her infant child. While raping her daily, Holmes forced her to solicit commercial sex dates along the 1.3 mile stretch of Bissonnet Street, commonly referred to as “The Track,” while he kept close tabs on her and her infant child. If she did not meet the monetary quota Holmes had set, he beat her and deprived her of food.
Holmes has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (HTRA) conducted the investigation.
HTRA law enforcement includes members of the Houston Police Department, FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Attorney General’s Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Department of Labor, Department of State, Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Commission, Texas Department of Public Safety, Coast Guard and sheriff’s offices in Harris and Montgomery counties in coordination with District Attorney’s offices in Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend Counties.
Established in 2004, the United States Attorney’s office in Houston formed HTRA to combine resources with federal, state and local enforcement agencies and prosecutors, as well as non-governmental service organizations to target human traffickers while providing necessary services to those that the traffickers victimized. Since its inception, HTRA has been recognized as both a national and international model in identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking and prosecuting those engaged in trafficking offenses.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sebastian Edwards and Carrie Wirsing prosecuted this case.