2 sentenced to federal prison for trafficking runaway teen
MACON, Ga. (WALB) - Two people were sentenced in connection to trafficking a runaway teenager, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Georgia.
Demetrius Hunter aka “Red,” 39, of Albany, was sentenced to serve 20 years in federal prison to be followed by 25 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to sex trafficking of children. Tamara Taylor aka “Coco,” 30, of Albany, was sentenced to serve 5 years in federal prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to use of facilities in interstate and foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor.
On October 5, 2016, Taylor came across the victim, a 15-year-old female, at the Bridgeview hotel in Macon. The day before, the victim ran away from a group foster home and was at the hotel looking for another family member. The victim did not find them and had been abandoned by her ride. The victim told Taylor her age and that she had run away from a group home. Taylor invited the victim to her room where Taylor introduced the victim to Hunter, who knew her age and that she had run away. Hunter told the victim that they were traveling the world and invited her to stay with them but told her that she would have to make money. The victim did not understand at that time how she would be expected to make money. After staying one night at the Bridgeview, Hunter and Taylor took the victim to another hotel in Warner Robins.
The victim’s profile was placed on Backpage, a website commonly used for online advertisements for commercial sex acts. Records from Backpage verify that the victim’s profile had been posted by Taylor on Backpage, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The advertisements included photographs of the victim in underwear and included a cell phone number to call that was provided both people.
Hunter explained the victim would have to do “tricks” to get money and forced the victim to perform sex acts on him. The victim remained with Hunter and Taylor until October 18, 2016, when they were encountered by law enforcement, and the victim was returned to her group foster home. As a result of the advertisements posted on Backpage, the victim had to engage in two to five commercial sex acts, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
“During her time with Hunter and Taylor, the victim relied on them for her shelter and food. She stated in her interview with law enforcement that when having to engage in one commercial sex act, she told herself ‘you gotta do this, you gotta get the money, that’s how you eat,’” the attorney’s office said.
The case was investigated by the FBI.
“Hunter and Taylor’s shocking manipulation of this runaway child — forcing her to perform sex acts in exchange for food and shelter — is pure evil. Our office will pursue justice for those who sexually traffic and abuse children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Peter Leary. “Our law enforcement community stands strongly united in doing everything in our power to protect children from sexual predators and seeking justice for those who choose to harm children.”
“Instead of trying to help a young child in need of assistance, these two adults instead took advantage of her desperate situation and traumatized her further,” said Phil Wislar, acting special agent in charge of FBI Atlanta. “Hopefully, this sentencing in some way helps this innocent victim in her recovery from the serious emotional scars they left her with.”
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