Orlando Man Convicted of Sex Trafficking of Minors Through Force, Fraud, and Coercion
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 05, 2012|
TAMPA—U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that, on November 2, 2012, a federal jury found Weylin O. Rodriguez (29, Orlando) guilty of five counts of sex trafficking a minor by force, fraud, and coercion; one count of using a firearm in the furtherance of a sex trafficking crime; one count of transporting minors over state lines for the purpose of engaging in prostitution; one count of coercion and enticement; and one count of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Rodriguez faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for February 8, 2013.
Rodriguez was indicted on April 12, 2012.
According to evidence presented at trial, in December 2010, Rodriguez met a 15- year-old minor in Ybor City (Tampa, Florida). He offered to give the girl a ride home but instead drove her to Orlando and forced her to engage in prostitution on Orange Blossom Trail.
The investigation also revealed that in 2010, on Thanksgiving Day, Rodriguez forced two other minor victims into his car at gunpoint. He then held them for several months and forced them into prostitution. Rodriguez transported the girls between Orlando, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina, for the purpose of prostitution.
In addition to the minors, Rodriguez recruited at least two adult victims by promising them jobs as models. Once the girls met with Rodriguez, he held them against their will and forced them into prostitution.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stacie B. Harris and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Maureen Cain.
It is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.justice.gov/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”