Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sex Trafficking Arrests in Heartland

(Iowa City, Iowa) Federal agents have made arrests in a sex trafficking case, alleging girls were taken from Iowa to Chicago to engage in commercial sex acts.
Malik McKee, 20, and his sister Shuntina McKee, 23, both of Iowa City and formerly of Country Club Hills, Ill., were arrested Monday in Iowa City, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois.

Willie Woods, 41, of Toledo, Ohio, and formerly of Iowa City, was arrested Friday in Toledo, according to the attorney’s office.

All three defendants face charges of conspiracy to transport minors across state lines to engage in prostitution, and the federal government is seeking to have all three transferred back to Chicago to face charges there.

According to a detailed criminal complaint, the defendants used coercion, force and the threat of force to make the three victims – ages 14, 16 and 16 – engage in commercial sex acts.

The investigation began on April 25 after a Cedar Rapids woman called police to report her 14-year-old daughter was missing and believed to be in Chicago. The woman said her daughter had called earlier that morning to report she was being held against her will in a Chicago hotel.[…]

… three teenage girls met up in early April at Woods’ Iowa City house, where they stayed with McKee, who provided them alcohol and marijuana. The girls told investigators that Woods and McKee took pictures of them in lingerie and high heels and posted them on, a prostitution solicitation website, according to the criminal complaint.
Convictions for sex trafficking of minors carry sentences of mandatory 10 years and possibly life in prison.

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