Two men who allegedly paid to have sex with a 13-year-old trafficking victim have been arrested and charged with child sex trafficking, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox announced Wednesday.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, a federal grand jury indicted 35-year-old Kention Obryan Johnson and 30-year-old Sergio Trinidad Carvajal for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and sex trafficking of children on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Both men were arrested in Dallas following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations’ Dallas Field Office and the Fort Worth Police Department, but their court documents were unsealed on Wednesday.
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“The sex trafficking of minors is a despicable crime that HSI Dallas and our dedicated partners will continue to prioritize and relentlessly investigate," Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations' Dallas Field Office, said. "Whether you’re involved in the actual trafficking or perpetuate it as a consumer, HSI will use every resource available to ensure you face justice. HSI will continue to pursue individuals involved in this type of modern-day slavery, and work vigorously to rescue the young, helpless victims whose dignity and well-being are blatantly disregarded.”
According to a criminal complaint filed in 2019, 34-year-old Curtis Vance Mathis, Johnson and Carvajal’s coconspirator, allegedly advertised the 13-year-old on a website offering illegal sexual services that has since been shut down.
Agents located the child, wearing only an oversized hoodie, in a West Irving hotel room rented in Mathis’ name on Nov. 5, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Search warrant affidavits indicate that during the investigation agents reviewed surveillance footage and saw multiple men entering and exiting the hotel room. The men were later identified as Mathis, Johnson, and Carvajal.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said agents searched the child's phone records and found text messages with Johnson and Carvajal discussing the price for a sexual encounter.
Investigators later confirmed that DNA recovered from discarded condoms in the hotel room matched Johnson and Carvajal, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office said, an indictment is an allegation of criminal conduct and not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Under the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017, a person who knowingly pays for a commercial sex act with a trafficking victim is equally as culpable as the person who supplies the trafficking victim for sex.
If convicted, Johnson, Carvajal, and Mathis face up to life in federal prison.
This prosecution is part of the Justice Department’s sex trafficking demand reduction initiative, a program that aims to punish and deter those involved in the market for sex from children and other vulnerable individuals.