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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Kenneth White, 39, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of sex trafficking of a minor, was sentenced to 156 months in prison by U.S. Senior District Judge William M. Skretny.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys John E. Rogowski and Scott S. Allen Jr., who handled the case, stated that White utilized violent force to cause five victims to engage in commercial sex acts between 2006 and 2012. The sex acts occurred in cities across the country including New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Law Vegas, Atlantic City, and others. The defendant, who utilized the internet to advertise the victims and solicit customers, received all of the money earned by the victims as a result of these acts.
White knew that one of the victims (Victim1) was under 18 years old. The defendant initially made contact with Victim 1 through a chat line. On the first night the defendant met the Victim in person, White gave the child alcohol and marijuana, and sexually assaulted her. Ultimately, Victim 1 agreed to work for the defendant because (in her later words) she “did not have any money, was hungry, and needed to take a shower.” Victim 1 provided commercial sex acts for at least three customers a day.
The defendant often used force and violence against the victims. For instance, when the victims broke the defendant’s rules, he charged them “debts.” The rules included: victims were not allowed to make direct eye contact with the defendant and they were not allowed to possess their own cellular phones. When victims broke the “rules,” in addition to having to repay the financial “debts” through commercial sex acts, the defendant raped and battered his victims.
Other examples of force and violence used by the defendant:
• Victim 2 watched White violently beat his co-defendant with a broom handle, belt, and hair straightener.
• The defendant forced Victim 2 to perform commercial sex acts while severely bruised and sleep deprived and forced her to stay awake by forcing her to consume Red Bull and pills. At times, the defendant forced Victim 2 to have sex with 10 to 20 men per day.
• Victim 4 was also forced to watch the defendant beat his co-defendant. In June 2009, the defendant impregnated Victim 4, forced her to have an abortion, and then forced her to perform commercial sex acts on the same day as the procedure. Victim 4 was raped by a client on this same day.
• The defendant beat Victim 5 while she was seven months pregnant. 
As a result of forcing his victims to perform commercial sex acts through violence and coercion, the defendant received hundreds of thousands of dollars. 
The sentencing is the result of an investigation on the part of Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen, and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division, under the direction of under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen.

Updated May 18, 2016