Houston Man Heads to Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking of Children
HOUSTON – Dominique Howard aka “Lucci,” 25, has been handed a 14-year sentence for his conviction of trafficking children under 18 for commercial sex, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Howard pleaded guilty March 26, 2014.
Today, U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison handed Howard a sentence of 168 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by 10 years of supervised release, during which time he will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the Internet. He will also be required to register as a sex offender. Additional information was presented today including that Howard had prostituted at least three minor victims during this time frame as well as adult victims.
Howard admitted that during parts of 2013, he used force, fraud or coercion to cause at least one minor girl under age 18 to engage in commercial sex acts. He took the victim from Colorado and transported her to Texas, without her prior knowledge. Upon arrival, the victim was photographed and the pictures were posted in online ads for prostitution. While in Texas, the minor victim was forced to engage in “two-girl specials” with other victims even though she did not want to do so. Howard gave the minor victim drugs and alcohol and kept all of the monies she earned. Howard also kept the her cell phone and told her that all of her phone calls would have to go through him. Despite requests by the minor victim to be taken back to Colorado, Howard continued to prostitute her and refused to take her home.
He will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
An investigation by the Houston FBI Innocence Lost Task Force, which includes such agencies as the Houston Police Department, developed this case using statements from victims as well as on line advertisements for the victims’ services and hotel records from several hotels.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Julie N. Searle and Sherri L. Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."