San Antonio Duo Arrested in Connection with Sex Trafficking of a Minor Scheme
In San Antonio this morning, FBI agents arrested 25–year-old Valentin Renko and 31–year-old Karen Lee in connection with a sex trafficking of a minor scheme announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.
A federal criminal complaint unsealed today charges Renko and Lee with one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor and one count of production of child pornography.
According to the criminal complaint, on or about July 1, 2015, Renko provided methamphetamine to Lee and a 12-year-old female, who had been reported missing to the Kirby Police Department. Renko, Lee and the minor subsequently smoked the methamphetamine. Furthermore, Renko and Lee discussed and planned ways of providing the minor female to adult males for sexual purposes in exchange for money. Lee, subsequently, took digital photos of Renko engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the minor female. The complaint also alleges that Lee insisted the minor female make money in order to continue to reside with Lee and encouraged the victim to make dates with males using a social networking website. During those dates, between July 2 and July 6, 2015, the victim engaged in sexual activity in exchange for U.S. currency and/or narcotics.
Both defendants remain in federal custody. Upon conviction, the defendants face between ten years and life in federal prison on the sex trafficking of a minor charge and between 15 years and 30 years in federal prison for production of child pornography charge.
It is important to note that a criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
This case resulted from a South Texas Officers and Prosecutors Human Trafficking Task Force (STOP HTTF) investigation led by the FBI together with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Kirby Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Bettina Richardson is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.