TEXARKANA, Texas — A Texas appellate court affirmed Tuesday the life sentence of a woman sentenced to life for human trafficking earlier this year.
Linda Michelle “Gucci” Dooley, 38, was found guilty in March of human trafficking involving the prostitution of a 16-year-old girl. Dooley turned down an offer from the state for a 20-year term in advance of her jury trial in Bowie County.
Witnesses testified at trial that Dooley posted ads for the girl’s “services” on skipthegames.com, a website commonly used in the sex industry.
Dooley provided the girl, who’d been reported as a runaway to Bowie County Sheriff’s Office, with methamphetamine and a place to stay and kept money paid by strangers to have sex with the teen. Investigators were concerned the girl was at risk for human trafficking and circulated flyers among area law enforcement agencies.
A special agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety showed the victim’s photo to a known sex worker in Texarkana who herself was a victim of child sex trafficking. That woman saw the girl at Dooley’s residence on Waterman Street in Texarkana, Texas, and told law enforcement where they could find her.
On appeal, Dooley argued her trial lawyer failed to meet basic professional standards in her defense, leaving her ineffectively represented. The appeal pointed specifically to testimony during the punishment phase from a now 24-year-old man who told the jury Dooley sexually abused him as a child.
The 6th District Court of Appeals in Texarkana rejected the argument and affirmed Dooley’s conviction and life sentence.
Dooley is currently being held in a unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Dayton, Texas. According to TDCJ, Dooley will be eligible for parole in September 2049.