Two men who allegedly purchased sex from a 13-year-old trafficking victim have been arrested and charged with child sex trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
On Sept. 2, a federal grand jury indicted Kention Obryan Johnson, 35, and Sergio Trinidad Carvajal, 30, for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of children. The defendants were arrested in Dallas last Wednesday; their court documents were unsealed today.
“Traffickers sell children for sex because their clients will pay for it. It’s that simple,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said at a press conference this morning. “By attacking both the supply and the demand, we think we will be able to truly make a difference in fighting this dehumanizing, horrific crime.”
“The sex trafficking of minors is a despicable crime that HSI Dallas and our dedicated partners will continue to prioritize and relentlessly investigate. Whether you’re involved in the actual trafficking or perpetuate it as a consumer, HSI will use every resource available to ensure you face justice,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge of HSI’s Dallas Field Office. “HSI will continue to pursue individuals involved in this type of modern-day slavery, and work vigorously to rescue the young, helpless victims whose dignity and well-being are blatantly disregarded.”
According to a criminal complaint filed late last year, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Carvajal’s coconspirator, 34-year-old Curtis Vance Mathis, allegedly advertised the Jane Doe on CityXGuide.com, an illegal sexual services website that has since been shut down by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas. Agents recovered the child – dressed only in an oversized hoodie – in a West Irving hotel room rented in Mr. Mathis’ name on Nov. 5, 2019.
According to search warrant affidavits unsealed today, during the investigation, agents reviewed hotel surveillance footage and observed several men – later identified as Mr. Mathis, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Carvajal – enter and exit the room. Agents then searched Jane Doe’s phone records and uncovered text chats with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Carvajal discussing the price for a “qv,” or “quick visit,” commercial sex parlance for a brief sexual encounter. A forensic investigation later confirmed that DNA recovered from discarded condoms found in the hotel room matched Mr. Johnson and Mr. Carvajal.
This prosecution is part of the Justice Department’s sex trafficking demand reduction initiative, a program focused on punishing and deterring those who drive the market for sex from children and other vulnerable persons. The Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017 reaffirmed that a person who knowingly purchases a commercial sex act with a trafficking victim is just as culpable as the person who supplies the trafficking victim for commercial sex.
An indictment is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
If convicted, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Carvajal each face up to life in federal prison, as does Mr. Mathis.
Homeland Security Investigations’ Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation with assistance from the Fort Worth Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Myria Boehm and Becky Ricketts are prosecuting the case.