Federal Jury Convicts Dallas Man on Conspiracy and Kidnapping Charges
DALLAS—Following a nearly two-week trial, a federal jury has convicted a Dallas man on felony offenses stemming from the May 2012 kidnapping of a female victim whom he planned to sell into sex slavery, announced John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Steric Paul Mitchell, 45, was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and one count of kidnapping. Mitchell’s coconspirator in the case, Gregory Steven Hunt, aka “K.C.,” 43, pleaded guilty in April 2015 to one count of kidnapping. The conspiracy count and the kidnapping count each carry a maximum statutory penalty of life in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Mitchell is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay on December 14, 2015; Hunt is scheduled to be sentenced on October 5, 2015.
According to evidence presented at Mitchell’s trial and documents filed in the case, Mitchell and Hunt knew each other from the neighborhood, and in early May 2012, Mitchell hired Hunt to pick up the victim at a hotel and transport her to another location under the ruse that Hunt was taking her to a private party. In fact, Hunt and Mitchell planned to kidnap and sexually assault her. Hunt was also supposed to pay another woman, R.E., $100 when he picked up the victim from the motel, and Hunt understood he would get to have sex with the victim as part of the agreement.
R.E. told the victim that she had a “good friend” who wanted to hire a private dancer for a party and that the men were “safe.” At a Dallas hotel, R.E. introduces the victim to Hunt, who pays R.E. the $100 and then drives the victim to an abandoned house in Dallas where Mitchell was waiting.
At the abandoned house, Mitchell threatened the victim with a firearm and shocked her with a Taser to frighten and restrain her. Hunt then raped her while Mitchell stood guard with a firearm. Mitchell then shocked her again with a Taser, bound her ankles and wrists, wrapped her in a bed sheet, carried her to another motor vehicle, and put her in the backseat. He then drove the victim to a second location, tied her to a chair, raped her, and told her he planned to sell her into sexual slavery. He held her overnight at that location. Later, he wrapped her in a bed sheet again, put her in the backseat of a vehicle, and drove her to a house in Duncanville, Texas, where he sexually assaulted her. At this third location, the victim was able to locate a cell phone and place four 911 calls; officers with the Duncanville Police Department found and rescued her.
The FBI and the Duncanville Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cara Pierce, Taly Haffar and Andrew Wirmani prosecuted.