Sacramento Woman Indicted for Sex Trafficking a Minor
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 24, 2013|
SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment on Thursday charging Shanntaye Ebony Hicks, 23, of Sacramento, with one count of sex trafficking of a minor and two counts of transportation of a minor, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the indictment, between March 4, 2013 and March 23, 2013, Hicks maintained a minor female victim by means of force, threats of force, fraud, and coercio, to engage in a commercial sex act. The indictment also alleges that on two occasions in March, Hicks transported this minor female to Reno and Las Vegas with the intent that the minor female engage in prostitution.
Hicks is scheduled to be arraigned on May 31, 2013, in Sacramento. If convicted, Hicks faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a lifetime period of supervised release. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI’s Innocence Lost Task Force, a multi-jurisdictional task force composed of FBI special agents, as well as Sacramento Police officers and sheriff’s deputies. Assistance during the investigation was also provided by the Bakersfield Police Department and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute those who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. Click on the “Resources” tab for information about Internet safety education.