A Kansas woman was sentenced Monday in federal court for partnering with two others in a sex trafficking ring that prostituted a 16-year-old in Tulsa, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III sentenced Rontaysha Leann Cox, 28, of Wichita, Kansas, to 15 years in federal prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release.
On March 19, 2021, Cox pleaded guilty to sex crimes against children. Cox admitted that she and two others named in the indictment engaged in the commercial sex trade and recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, and maintained a 16-year-old victim and provided the minor for sex in return for profit.
In her written statement, Cox said that she assisted and instructed the victim with taking sexually explicit photographs of herself and assisted the victim with posting advertisements on websites that promoted prostitution and arranged commercial sex acts.
“Targeting and exploiting minors for the commercial sex trade is shameful, inexcusable, and criminal” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Every child deserves the full protection of the law. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will hold accountable anyone who engages in the sex trafficking of children, whether as a trafficker or a customer.”
Previously, codefendant Dominque Laron Morgan, 26, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and coercion an enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and was later sentenced to 25 years in prison followed by 25 years of supervised release.
Also, codefendant Treveon Marquise Cato, 23, of Tulsa, pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and was later sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
On April 17, 2020, officers with the Tulsa Police Department’s Human Trafficking Vice Unit discovered advertisements for the teenager on a website promoting prostitution and soliciting sex acts in exchange for money.
An officer, acting as a john, contacted the victim using the phone number listed and arranged to meet her on April 20. During the appointment, the officer revealed his identity, and the minor victim was taken into protective custody.
Officers learned that Rontaysha Cox had rented the room, and that Cox and two other men left the hotel room in a silver sedan shortly before the scheduled appointment. Cox, Cato, and Morgan were later stopped and ordered out of the sedan.
A semi-automatic pistol could be seen from outside of the vehicle wedged between the driver’s seat and center console. Officers subsequently arrested the three, and during a search of the vehicle and the occupants, officers recovered marijuana, phones, and the firearm.
An analysis of the phones found conversations between Cox, Morgan, and the victim discussing prostitution as well as photos of the victim that constituted child pornography. Also found, were conversations between Morgan and the victim where she told him she was 16-years-old.
The Tulsa Police Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives conducted the investigation.
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