After a two-day trial, Howard Sanford Williams Jr., 38, of Grand Prairie TX was found guilty of sex trafficking of a child.
The victim was a 16-year-old girl.
According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Williams first contacted the teen through Tagged, a dating app, after he viewed a live video of her venting about conflict within her family.
Williams checked the girl into a hotel room in Irving, where he provided her with drugs and alcohol, had sex with her, and took photographs of her. He then posted those photographs online in commercial sex advertisements. Through the advertisements, Williams arranged for adult customers to go to the teen's hotel room for commercial sex; he also drove her to adult customers for commercial sex.
"This defendant exploited a vulnerable teenager he found online,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah in a statement. “Far too often, traffickers target struggling women and girls, claiming that they can help. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and HSI are committed to fighting the scourge of trafficking, and to getting justice for the victims of this horrific crime.”
After this guilty verdict, he faces up to life in prison.
Homeland Security Investigations conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Irving Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole Hammond and John de la Garza are prosecuting the case.
Sentencing has been scheduled for December. U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle presided over the trial.