St. Louis woman sentenced on federal sex trafficking charges
This was a horrible violation against a young lady with a mental handicap who couldn't defend herself. This happens all too many times in this world we live in today. Who looks out for the mentally ill? Like 80% of them they are on their own. They trust too easy and are so vulnerable because of that trust.
Waquita Wallace was sentenced to 20 years in prison on a federal charge of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion, Grace Loretta King, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, and Michael W. Reap, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri announced today.
In June 2008, April Chaney moved into the 5200 block of Genevieve in St. Louis to live with her sister, Waquita Wallace. That same month, Chaney and Wallace talked a mentally disabled18 year-old girl into moving in with them so they could care for her. Instead the girl was held captive, forced to give up her monthly disability check, and to work as a prostitute to pay off a drug debt. Wallace constantly threatened, beat, burned, tortured and humiliated the girl. On one occasion, Wallace was afraid that the police had been called, so she and Chaney tied the girl up with a phone cord and left her in the garage.
“Sex trafficking violates individuals’ basic human rights, stripping them of their dignity and freedom,” Acting Assistant Attorney General King said. “The damage done to the victim in this case cannot be reversed, but I applaud the investigators and attorneys who brought these defendants to justice, and it should send a message that we will continue to vigorously enforce our nation’s civil rights laws.”
“This case was a horrible violation against a human being who couldn't defend herself,” said John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in St. Louis. “The FBI will aggressively work with our partners to identify, investigate and bring to justice those who exploit children and women and traffic in human misery.”
Wallace, 34, St. Louis, pleaded guilty in April to forcing a young woman to engage in commercial sex acts through a combination of threats, fraud, intimidation and physical coercion. She appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson. At the conclusion of her prison sentence, Wallace will be on supervised release for five years.
Co-defendant April Chaney previously pleaded guilty to related charges and was sentenced last December to five years in prison.