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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Rochester Woman Going to Jail For Beating A Woman Who Testified Against Her Brother In Sex Trafficking Trial

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Shykeila Russell, 30, of Rochester, NY, who was convicted of witness intimidation, was sentenced to serve 12 months and a day in prison by U.S. District Judge David G. Larimer. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that in September 2017, an individual identified as L.T., testified in a federal jury trial against the defendant’s brother Stephen Jones.  Jones was subsequently convicted of sex trafficking and sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.

On July 27, 2018, Russell physically assaulted L.T. as retaliation for L.T.’s testimony during the federal jury trial. The defendant observed L.T. walking down the street with a small child. Russell approached and stated, “my brother is doing 25 years and you think you can just walk around like nothing happened.” The defendant then punched L.T. repeatedly in the head, causing bruising and pain.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Child Exploitation Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

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Human Trafficking
Violent Crime
Updated May 23, 2019