Portland Pimp Sentenced to 12 Years in Sex Trafficking Case Involving Two Minor Victims
PORTLAND, OR—U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon sentenced Antonio Vernell Porter, 28, of Portland, to 12 years in prison, followed by ten years of supervised release, for sex trafficking of a minor. Defendant pled guilty to one of three counts in October 2014.
According to court documents, the criminal conduct took place in 2009 and continued into early 2010. Although initially charged as a single-victim case in December 2012, law enforcement located a second victim while the initial case was pending. The government filed a superseding indictment in 2014 to add this second victim and two additional counts of sex trafficking. In an interview with police, the second victim disclosed that she began working for defendant when she was just 15 years old, and that she did so because defendant threatened to harm her family if she did not work for him. She performed dozens of commercial sex acts over several months in Oregon, California, Nevada, and Washington.
In August 2009, officers responded to a report that defendant allegedly struck the victim on the head with a toddler bike and then cut her hand with a knife. Officers could not locate defendant at that time, but three months later, in November 2009, the police again responded to a report that defendant had beaten the victim (then 17) when she refused to “go work” (engage in commercial sex acts). She described defendant as her “pimp” and said he punched her in the face when she refused to get out of his vehicle for work. She explained that defendant would normally drop her off on 82nd Avenue to work, and “anytime I don’t wanna work the street I get a beating.” While police were speaking with P.M., defendant called her cell phone. She put the phone on speaker so the police could hear the conversation. Officers heard defendant tell the juvenile victim that she “better be up on the avenue.”
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force (CETF), led by two task force detectives from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB). The FBI-sponsored CETF partners with local law enforcement agencies to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the area. Partners include the Portland Police Bureau, Tigard Police Department, Beaverton Police Department, and Vancouver Police Department, who work closely with prosecutors from both the U.S. Attorney’s office and Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah K. Bolstad.