Local Man Pleads Guilty to Sex Trafficking Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 15, 2013|
ST. LOUIS—Carl Mathews pled guilty to charges involving the sex trafficking of two area women by force and intimidation.
According to statements made in court during today’s plea, between 2010 and October 2012, Carl Mathews conspired with others to force the two women to engage in prostitution in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The defendant arranged for one of the women to work in a local hotel. One of the women was told that she needed to help support the household by applying for state and federally regulated food-stamp benefits and by having sex for money. Their food-stamp identification (EBT) cards were kept from them to deprive them of food and drink as a method of control, and they were sometimes provided the drug MDMA and clothing in preparation for the commercial sex dates.
Carl Mathews, 26, Breckenridge Hills, Missouri, pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion before United States District Judge Henry Autrey. Sentencing has been set for June 12, 2013.
Co-defendant Carla Mathews, 27, also of Breckenridge Hills, is facing trial on one felony count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion and two felony counts of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion.
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison; each count of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion carries a penalty range of 15 years to life in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Investigations, and the Breckenridge Hills Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Noelle Collins is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Defendant Carla Mathews is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.