Two Shreveport residents found guilty at trial of sex trafficking a minor
SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced today that a man and woman from Shreveport were found guilty after a trial of having a minor female from Texas engage in prostitution in Shreveport.
Tyrone Larry Smith, 37, and Lacoya Washington, 33, both of Shreveport, were found guilty of one count of sex trafficking of a minor, and Smith was also found guilty of one count of coercing or enticing a minor to travel to engage in prostitution. United States District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr. presided over the bench trial, which started Monday and ended today. According to evidence presented at trial, Smith began conversing with a 14-year-old female from Texas over an internet dating service in June of 2015. He convinced her to travel to Shreveport saying he had feelings for her. Upon arriving in Shreveport, the female met Smith and Washington and stayed at their home. That same month, they brought her to local hotels where she engaged in prostitution. If she resisted, Smith struck her and abused her in order for her to continue the illegal activity. Smith also took the money from the prostitution. The minor was contacted by authorities who later arrested Smith and Washington.
The defendants face a minimum of 15 years in prison, at least five years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. They are also required to register as sex offenders. A sentencing date of November 1, 2016 was set.
The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James G. Cowles Jr. and Earl M. Campbell are prosecuting the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Those concerned may also leave tips with the FBI at tips.fbi.gov. Tips may be submitted anonymously. The Shreveport FBI office number is (318) 861-1890.