A Park Hills, Mo., man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for sex trafficking of a minor, U.S. Attorney Donald S. Boyce said in a press release Thursday.
Facts presented in court revealed that during a six-week period in June and July 2015, Marcus DeWayne Thompson, 29, recruited, transported and advertised a minor female from Madison for commercial sex acts in Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. Thompson, along with his wife, Robin Thompson, took and posted sexually explicit pictures of the minor on a website as part of an advertisement for sex with the minor. Thompson also arranged prices, services and meet locations with customers to engage in sex with the minor. Thompson also engaged in sex with the minor on at least five occasions.
During the sentencing, Judge Michael J. Reagan characterized Thompson as a “predator” who “sold the minor victim as a commodity.” Reagan also stated that Thompson was responsible for both repeatedly raping and facilitating the rape of the minor victim by others.
A court document states the victim, then 15, was recruited by the couple while she was walking on the street in Madison in June 2015. Marcus Thompson told her she could make money as a model and she agreed to get into a truck that she said had four other girls.
The girl told investigators that after stealing a camper, the couple took the girls to Orlando, Fla., and other cities, where they were forced to have sex with men. The girl said the Thompsons told her and the other girls they would be killed and “thrown to the alligators in the swamp” if they tried to escape.
Thompson also was ordered to pay a mandatory $200 special assessment and a $250 fine.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel T. Kapsak and Monica A. Stump.