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Fresno man pleads guilty to sex trafficking 14-year-old girl in Houston


A Fresno man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to driving a 14-year-old girl from Dallas and forcing her to into prostitution for days in Houston.

Trevien Thomas, 26, entered his plea by videoconference because of the COVID-19 pandemic, telling Senior U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas that he was guilty of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor and sex trafficking of a minor. He sat in front of the camera from the Joe Corley Detention Facility in Conroe.

Atlas will hold a sentencing hearing on March 24.

Houston police arrested Thomas in 2017 and charged him in state district court with aggravated sexual assault of a child ages 14 to 17; aggravated kidnapping; compelling prostitution with someone younger than 18, and trafficking a child. He was also charged with manufacturing and delivering a controlled substance.

He was then charged in federal court in 2019.

The trafficking scheme began in May 2016, when Thomas met the 14-year-old runaway at an inn in Dallas and convinced her he could help her make money, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sebastian Edwards said.

He posted a commercial sex advertisement on the website Backpage, calling her “Duchess.” He used his email address and his phone number, which received 13 incoming calls and made 15 outgoing calls that night, Edwards said. He posted a second ad that stated the girl was new to Houston from Dallas.

Thomas then drove the girl to Houston, and they stayed at a Red Roof Inn between May 24 and May 28, 2016, Edwards said. He had a semi-automatic pistol.

He wasn’t always present when the girl was at the motel, but if he left, he kept her under the watch of associates, the prosecutor said. Thomas created more ads from May 24 to May 26 and again on May 28, Edwards said, and on May 26, one photo showed her on her stomach on a bed, naked from the waist down.

Edwards said Thomas solicited multiple sex acts for the girl at Houston motels. When people seeking sex would show up, he would tell her the date was there and leave the room.

On May 28, Thomas left her alone, giving her time to flee to a gas station and call 911.


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