Dallas Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Sex Trafficking Teenage Runaways
DALLAS—A Dallas man who pleaded guilty in February 2015 to sex trafficking a 17-year-old runaway was sentenced this morning, announced John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Ladestro Douglas, a/k/a “Derek Douglas,” 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Barbara M. G. Lynn to 15 years in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. He was also required to register as a sex offender, and he was ordered to pay one of his victims, Jane Doe #1, $136,000 in restitution.
During sentencing, Judge Lynn noted that the case was not about prostitution; rather it was about human trafficking. She stated that Douglas “was trafficking through the sale of children,” and “to call it human trafficking acknowledges the horror of what you [Douglas] were doing.”
Douglas pleaded guilty in February 2015 to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children, admitting he met a 17-year-old female on the Internet, convinced her to leave her foster home and go to Texas with him where he facilitated her engagement in commercial sex acts.
According to documents filed in the case, in May 2012, Douglas contacted 17-year-old “Jane Doe #1” on the Internet and began communicating with her. He convinced her to leave her foster home in Alabama and travel with him to Texas. When they arrived in Texas, Douglas facilitated Jane Doe #1 engaging in commercial sex acts. He took provocative photos of her for use on commercial sex websites; posted her on Backpage.com and other similar commercial sex websites; provided her with contraceptives to use with customers; and drove her to various cities to engage in commercial sex acts. Jane Doe #1 gave Douglas all of the money she earned.
In June 22, 2012, officers with the Dallas Police Department responded to a disturbance call at a local hotel. In the parking lot, they encountered Jane Doe #1, who explained that she had gotten in an altercation with her pimp, Douglas. Officers learned Jane Doe #1 was a 17-year-old runaway from Alabama, and they arrested Douglas. Douglas admitted that he knew she was age 17 and that she had been engaging in commercial sex acts throughout Texas. Afterwards, Jane Doe #1 lost contact with Douglas for several months, but after she turned 18, they reunited and Douglas continued to facilitate her commercial sex acts.
In December 2013, Jane Doe #1 and another woman were in Odessa, Texas, working at Douglas’s direction. They encountered 16-year-old Jane Doe #2 walking down the street, offered her a ride and she joined them. Jane Doe #1 contacted Douglas about Jane Doe #2 and he travelled to Odessa to meet her.
Douglas, Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 traveled back to Dallas on a bus, and after they arrived, Jane Doe #1 began facilitating Jane Doe #2’s engaging in commercial sex acts. They took provocative photos of her and posted her ad on Backpage.com. Jane Doe #1, at Douglas’s direction, contacted certain customers to see if they wanted to pay to have sex with Jane Doe #2. Jane Doe #1 also rode in the car with Jane Doe #2 to her commercial sex transactions, but she did not go into the room where they occurred. Jane Doe #2 also gave all of the money she earned to Douglas.
Ultimately, in late December 2013, Jane Doe #2 told Douglas she wanted to go home for the Christmas holidays, and he allowed her to leave.
The North Texas Trafficking Taskforce and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Foos Pierce prosecuted.