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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of North Carolina

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Charlotte Pimp Sentenced To 40 Years For Sex Trafficking Of A Minor

Defendant Committed Crimes While Registered as a Sex Offender

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today, U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad, Jr. sentenced Kenwaniee Vontorian Tate, 41, of Charlotte, to 40 years in prison for sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking by fraud, force and committing sex trafficking of a minor while being required to register as a sex offender, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, Tate was also ordered to serve a lifetime under court supervision, to register as a sex offender, and to pay $42,100 as restitution to the victim of sex trafficking.


U.S. Attorney Rose is joined making today’s announcement by Nick Annan, Special Agent in Charge of ICE/Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Georgia and the Carolinas and Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD).


In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney Rose stated, “Tate preyed upon a vulnerable young girl, lured her into a world of sex and violence and exploited her in the worst possible way. Sex trafficking and victimizing minors for financial gain is a reprehensible crime. My office will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute sex traffickers who profit from prostituting minors.”


“Human traffickers strip victims of their humanity; treating them as little more than pieces of meat to generate cash,” said Special Agent in Charge Annan “The depravity of the subject in this particular case reaches its lowest form, by forcing underage girls into this dark underworld of abuse and victimization; the public should breathe a sigh of relief that this dangerous criminal is now safely behind bars.”


According to filed documents, statements at today’s sentencing hearing and evidence presented at Tate’s trial, between September 2014 and February 2015, Tate caused and forced a minor female to engage in prostitution. Tate met the victim when she was a 15-year-old runaway and became her pimp shortly after they met. Tate and the minor victim moved from hotel to hotel while she worked as a prostitute. Testimony at trial established that Tate controlled all of the profits from the prostitution of the minor victim and used it to support himself. He also controlled the victim, who Tate required to follow his rules and to ask for his permission to do anything. Tate advertised the minor victim for sex on an Internet website and arranged sexual encounters for her.


Testimony at trial also revealed that while she the was prostituting for him, Tate physically abused the minor victim. Specifically, Tate slapped the minor victim, punched her in the face, pulled her hair, threw her to the ground, and slammed her head into the wall when she did not do as Tate instructed. Testimony at trial also established that Tate was careful to only hit the victim in the face one time because visible bruises affected her ability to make money as a prostitute. Trial evidence showed that the sex trafficking came to an end when CMPD officers arrested Tate on February 17, 2015, while looking for a different missing minor and found the victim hiding in Tate’s hotel room closet.

Trial evidence also established that at the time that Tate caused the minor victim to engage in prostitution, Tate was registered as a sex offender in North Carolina based upon previous state convictions in Minnesota for criminal sexual conduct. Tate was also convicted previously in Minnesota federal court for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor for his involvement in a sex trafficking ring, whose members transported adult and juvenile females from Minnesota to Las Vegas, Nevada, to engage in commercial sex acts. The judge in that case ordered Tate to serve a 16-month sentence.


Tate has been in federal custody since his arrest in November 2015. He will be transferred to the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.


The investigation was led by HSI and CMPD. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimlani M. Ford of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte prosecuted the case.


Updated January 25, 2017