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Press Release

South Texas woman sent to prison for trafficking minor female

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A 57-year-old Brownsville woman has been ordered to federal prison following her conviction of sex trafficking of a 10-year-old girl, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Maria Candelaria Losoya pleaded guilty Aug. 1, 2017, in Corpus Christi federal court.

Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos ordered Losoya to serve the mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison. At the hearing, the court heard a statement from the minor victim and her guardian detailing the impact the crime had on the victim’s life. In handing down the sentence, Judge Ramos noted that Losoya provided valuable testimony at the trial of co-defendant David Keith Wills. Losoya will also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim and will serve five years of supervised release following completion of her prison term, during which time she will have to comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict her access to children and the internet. She will also be ordered to register as a sex offender.

At the time of her plea, Losoya admitted she was responsible for the continued sexual assault of a then 10-year-old victim which began in Brownsville in 2012. Later, she traveled with the victim so that the assault could continue. She further admitted she did so in exchange for money. 

Wills, a 67-year-old businessman previously from Rockport and South Padre Island, went to trial in October. The federal jury convicted the aquaculture company owner following the 10-day-trial.

The jury heard that from 2012 to 2015, Losoya conspired with Wills to traffic the minor female for sex until the victim reported it in April 2015. Losoya and Wills used their cell phones to arrange meetings at several different locations where Wills would sexually assault the girl. These included Wills and Losoya’s respective residences as well as hotels and motels in the greater Corpus Christi area. 

The jury heard testimony from Losoya and others that Wills promised to provide financial support if he was allowed to sexually assault the young girl. Wills also reimbursed Losoya for gifts to the victim and expenditures she would otherwise not have been able to afford. These included an iPad, Bose headphones, a flatscreen TV, Apple laptop, trampoline, swimming pool and a school trip to Washington D.C. 

Losoya was allowed to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The court has not yet set a sentencing date for Wills. At that time, he faces up life in prison.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Brownsville Police Department and the Texas Rangers conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Zahra Jivani Fenelon, Richard Bennett and Stephanie Bauman prosecuted the case, which was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood(PSC), a nationwide initiative the Department of Justice (DOJ) launched in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. U.S. Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section leads PSC, which marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and identifies and rescues victims. For more information about PSC, please visit DOJ’s PSC page. For more information about internet safety education, please visit the resources tab on that page.

Updated December 18, 2019

Project Safe Childhood