Madison Man Sentenced to 11 Years for Sex Trafficking a Minor
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Wisconsin
MADISON, WIS. – Timothy M. O’Shea, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Adrian Edwards 40, Madison, Wisconsin, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson to 11 years in federal prison for sex trafficking a minor. Edwards pleaded guilty to this charge on June 15, 2023.
Edwards encountered the 16-year-old victim in Utah in January 2021, when the two were at a mutual friend’s house. The victim confided to the defendant that she had a difficult home life and he offered to help her with a place to stay if she needed it. A few days later, the victim called Edwards to take him up on his offer. He bought her a train ticket to Iowa, where he picked her up and brought her to Wisconsin. He immediately took pictures of her and posted ads on websites offering various sexual services in exchange for money. Edwards set the prices, arranged the meetings, arranged for hotels, and kept the bulk of the money gained from the trafficking activity.
On February 2, 2021, Middleton Police Department received a complaint from a local hotel indicating that someone was overstaying their reservation and the hotel suspected sex trafficking. Police responded and found the victim alone in a hotel room, along with Edwards’ belongings and identification. Edwards was indicted in July 2021, and a federal arrest warrant was issued. He was ultimately arrested in January 2022 in Arizona.
At sentencing, Judge Peterson observed that this was a horrifying case where the defendant took a child away from her family, isolated her, and immediately trafficked her for his own gain. The Court stated that although consent was irrelevant here, the victim did not know she was coming to Wisconsin to engage in prostitution. Judge Peterson further noted that Edwards’ crime was calculated and sustained, and it was fortunate that law enforcement intervened and put a stop to it.
The charge against Edwards was the result of an investigation conducted by the Middleton Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service in finding and arresting Edwards in Arizona. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura A. Przybylinski Finn and Kathryn E. Ginsberg prosecuted this case.
Updated November 9, 2023