How serious are sex trafficking charges and the crime’s punishments upon conviction? Very serious. In fact, sex trafficking can lead to a sentence of life in prison, as happened with a Texas man recently.
As Houston’s KHOU CBS-11 reported, David Keith Wills of Rockport was sentenced to life in federal prison Tuesday, Sept. 22 for sex trafficking of a minor female. He also was ordered to pay $85,000 in fines for multiple counts of sex trafficking, enticement of a child and conspiring to obstruct justice, as well as $172,000 in restitution to the victim.
Court documents indicated that Willis conspired with his mistress to traffic a minor female starting when she was 10 years old in 2012 and continuing until 2015, when the girl reported it.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Corpus Christi, which investigated the case along with Brownsville Police and the Texas Rangers, said Wills had promised to pay for the victim’s college tuition in exchange for her allowing the sexual assaults.
Authorities said Wills also conspired with a friend to remove a laptop from his home and destroy it before authorities could seize it and use it as evidence.
Federal and state charges may await
Sex trafficking – or the illegal trade of humans for sex or forced labor – can be both a federal and a state criminal charge. Sex trafficking of a minor, which can lead to a sentence of life in prison, also can bring a minimum of at least 10 years in prison.
Texas has the second-highest number of sex trafficking cases, after California, and Houston is a hub for sex trafficking. In fact, Houston often is ranked as the number one city in America for sex trafficking crimes.
These crimes often involve smuggling people across the border and then forcing them into prostitution. In fact, young people are forced into prostitution in about 25 percent of human trafficking cases that are reported in Texas.
Human trafficking also has been rising during the COVID-19 pandemic, since many people are unable to get legitimate employment and may turn to illegitimate means offered by those who arrange human trafficking.
Get an experienced sex crime defense lawyer
Of course, not everyone who is snared in a net by zealous law officers is guilty of such a crime. And every American is entitled to due process and legal protections, which can come with help from a skilled sex crime defense lawyer.
If you or a family member faces a human trafficking or sex trafficking charge in Houston, The Woodlands, Conroe, Sugar Land or elsewhere in Harris County, Montgomery County or Fort Bend County, notify us at the award-winning Neal Davis Law Firm, where we have experience in such cases.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation about your case. It’s vital that you have knowledgeable, veteran legal help. Indeed, the stakes are too high not to find the best human trafficking defense lawyer or sex crime defense attorney you can find in Houston or elsewhere in Southeast Texas.