FBI Cleveland
Public Affairs Officer Susan Licate
November 9, 2015

Man Federally Charged with Sex Trafficking of Children

A federal arrest warrant was issued today for Ronnie L. Pratt, Jr. in regards to two counts of sex trafficking of children in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1591.

It is alleged in the complaint arrest affidavit that on or about November 5, 2015, an agent conducting Crimes Against Children investigations assigned to the FBI’s Violent Crime Task Force observed an online advertisement posted on Backpage.com. The Backpage.com posting advertised a “lovely college girl” who has a “thing for older men.” The corresponding photos with this advertisement appeared to depict an underage female. Contact was initiated by the investigating agent while acting in an undercover capacity. This contact ultimately resulted in a scheduled meeting between the “lovely college girl,” her adult male driver, and the agent acting in a covert manner. At the scheduled meeting, it was confirmed that the “lovely college girl” was actually a 14-year-old female and the adult male driver was her pimp, identified as Ronnie L. Pratt, Jr. A .38-caliber revolver in the passenger compartment of the vehicle was seized at the time of Pratt’s arrest.

During the interview of the 14-year-old victim, it was determined that she had actually been working for Pratt since the age of 13 and she knew of other young females working for Pratt in the same capacity as she. The victim informed the investigators that Pratt is aware of her true age and he believed she could pass for 16 or 17 years of age. She also indicated that Pratt knew the true age of the other girls working for him. To date, another underage female has been identified. Additional underage victims are anticipated.

Pratt was taken into custody and charged on November 6, 2015 by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office with one count of Trafficking in Persons and with one count of compelling prostitution. He has been held in the Cuyahoga County Jail since that time. Pratt remains in custody and will be transferred from county to federal custody.

Any questions regarding this news release can be directed to SA Vicki D. Anderson at the Cleveland Office of the FBI at 216-522-1400 or Vicki.Anderson@ic.fbi.gov.