Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Hammond man gets life in federal prison for sex trafficking minor girls

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A Hammond man has been sentenced to life in federal prison, following his conviction on one count of sex trafficking a minor, two of transporting a minor for prostitution, and two of producing child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Ronnie Cosby, 42, was sentenced on Monday.

“Mr. Cosby engaged in horrific acts of sex trafficking involving minors,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II said. “As demonstrated by the conviction and sentence in this case, such acts carry severe consequences for those who commit them. Sex trafficking and crimes involving minor victims will never be tolerated. My office and our law enforcement partners will continue to come after individuals who commit these horrible crimes to the fullest extent permitted by law.”

According to court documents, between December 2014 and February 2015, Cosby caused two minor females to engage in prostitution at his apartment in Hammond and other nearby locations. “Cosby met one victim, a 14-year-old homeless girl, on Badoo, an online dating website, and within hours began prostituting her out of his apartment,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Cosby met the second victim, a 15-year-old high school student, through a friend, and within a day offered her sexual services online to men in exchange for money.”

Cosby transported this second minor victim from Hammond to a hotel in Lansing, Ill., “where he and another working at his direction kept her under constant surveillance while arranging for men to come to the hotel to have sex with her,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Cosby took sexually explicit images of both minor victims using his mobile phone and uploaded the images to Backpage.com, a website he used to offer them up to strangers interested in paying for sex. Cosby also texted images of both victims to friends and repeat prostitution customers to drum up additional business.”

In a coordinated law enforcement operation last month, the Justice Department seized Backpage.com, the Internet’s leading forum for prostitution ads, including ads depicting the prostitution of children.

This case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Hammond Police Department with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and members of the Northwest Indiana Human Trafficking Working Group.

 

 

Posted 4/25/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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