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Press Release

Janesville Woman Sentenced to 3 Years for Role in Sex Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Wisconsin

MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Tonyiel Partee, 29, Janesville, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 36 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.  This prison term will be followed by 5 years of supervised release.  Partee pleaded guilty to this charge on July 8, 2021.

In September 2017, the mother of a minor female contacted the Janesville Police Department to report that she found Facebook messages on her daughter’s account that indicated her daughter was buying drugs from an adult man.  The investigation revealed that not only was the adult man selling drugs to the minor, but he was also posting her on websites for commercial sex. 

As the investigation continued, Partee was identified as a woman who also was engaged in commercial sex for the man.  Over time, investigators were able to establish that Partee helped the trafficker recruit women, and that she knew the women she recruited were drug addicts and would be subject to violence and coercion by the trafficker. 

While Judge Conley recognized that Partee had been “groomed” by the trafficker, and was a victim herself, he stated that the Court “could not ignore the role [Partee] played in victimizing others,” in imposing her sentence. 

The charge against Partee was the result of an investigation conducted by the Janesville Police Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Pfluger prosecuted this case. 

Updated October 7, 2021

Human Trafficking