2/13/2015 - First Guilty Verdict Secured in Child Sex Trafficking Case

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On February 12, 2015 a jury found Antoine Phillips guilty of Sex Trafficking of a Child Under 18 Years of Age, First Degree Kidnapping, Child Abuse, Neglect or Endangerment and Living from the Earnings of a Prostitute. Under the new law that made sex trafficking a crime, which took effect July 1, 2013, this is the first guilty verdict returned by a jury where the victim was a child. Through Assembly Bill 67, the Sex Trafficking of a Child Under 18 Years of Age charge was established as a category A felony and carries a minimum term of five years in prison and a maximum term of life in prison. This same sentence applies to the First Degree Kidnapping charge. Previously, the only charge available to prosecutors was Pandering and the penalty was one to five years in prison.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Sam Martinez and Deputy District Attorney Kristina Rhoades were the prosecutors on this case. "The great investigation conducted by Las Vegas Metro Vice detectives and the Innocence Lost/Child Exploitation Task Force made it possible for us to present a strong case to the jury, who sent a powerful message with their verdict," said Martinez. "The goal is to ensure justice for the victim and the community as a whole; that goal was achieved in this case."

"While nobody wants to see these crimes committed in the first place, our hope is that aggressive prosecution by our office, and tougher sentences imposed by the judges, will deter this activity in the future," said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson.

In this case, Phillips contacted the victim through social media. He then brought her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas for the sole purpose of prostituting her, which he did using online ads to promote her services. The victim in this case cooperated during the trial.

Last modified on 10/5/2015 8:29