Federal Indictment: Topeka Couple Forced Teenage Girl into Prostitution
TOPEKA, KS—A federal grand jury Wednesday returned indictments against a Topeka couple accused of forcing a teenage girl into prostitution, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Reginald E. Newman, 29, and his wife, Tiara Jade Newman, 21, both of Topeka, are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, and one count of sex trafficking of a minor.
“In Kansas, law enforcement agencies on the federal, state and local levels are working together to fight human trafficking,” Grissom said.
The indictment alleges the victim was introduced to the couple on March 21, 2015, and the couple conspired through March 30, 2015, to engage her in prostitution. She voluntarily travelled with them from Topeka to Manhattan, Kan., where they planned for her to engage in commercial sex acts. The defendants posted advertisements on a commercial Web site, including one offering a “two girl special.”
The indictment alleges Reginald Newman held a gun to the victim’s head and threatened to kill her if she did not participate in a commercial sex act with a male customer. Furthermore, Reginald Newman forcefully administered an illegal narcotic to the victim.
If convicted, the defendants face a penalty of not less than 15 years on in federal prison on the sex trafficking charge and a maximum penalty of life on the conspiracy charge. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney is prosecuting.
Grissom thanked the following agencies for their work on the investigation: The Topeka Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Riley County Police Department, the Junction City Police Department, the Kansas Department of Revenue, the Fort Riley Police Department, the Ottawa Police Department, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office, the Pottawatomie County Attorney, the Riley County Attorney and local human trafficking victim specialists.
OTHER FEDERAL GRAND JURY INDICTMENTS
Monte L. Hendricks, 23, who is being held in the Shawnee County Jail, is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. The crime is alleged to have occurred Jan. 31, 2014, in Shawnee County, Kan.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. The Topeka Police Department and the FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag is prosecuting.
Brendon E. Hoskins, 24, Topeka, Kan., is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm following a felony conviction. The crime is alleged to have occurred March 3, 2015, in Shawnee County, Kan.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard is prosecuting.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.