Man sentenced to 36 years for sex trafficking, child pornography

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.

A 22-year-old man was sentenced on June 16 to 36 years in prison for sex trafficking three minor girls and for producing and receiving child pornography of two minor girls.

Deuvontay Shelby Charles
Deuvontay Shelby Charles

Deuvontay Shelby Charles, of Minneapolis, was tried, convicted and sentenced in federal court. In 2016, he was indicted on March 7 and convicted by a federal jury on Dec. 14 on 20 of the 23 charges.

“Deuvontay Charles repeatedly victimized and abused vulnerable young girls with no remorse or acceptance of responsibility for his crimes,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Brooker.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office was contacted in July 2015 by a mother who was concerned that her 17-year-old daughter had been recruited by Charles to be a prostitute. Charles told this girl in private messages that she could make money and travel to Las Vegas and that “life will be smooth sailing.” He told her he would provide condoms and protect her from the clients. He also instructed her to call him “daddy.”

Law enforcement identified additional juvenile victims, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota. A 14-year-old girl said that between July 2 and July 4, 2015, she sent eight nude images of herself to Charles after he requested them. He also sent two pornographic images of an adult female and asked her to send pictures of herself in similar sexual poses.

Charles told another 14-year-old girl in July 2015 to make a video of herself engaged in sexual acts and he also tried to get her to engage in prostitution while working for him. He said while she is “kinda young,” there would be a lot of money to be made, according to information from the attorney’s office.

As proven at trial, Charles also sent messages to another 17-year-old girl about making “quick money.” On Aug. 21, 2015, Charles picked up this girl in Blaine and posted her as an escort on backpage.com and trafficked her through Aug. 26, 2015. He made her available for commercial sex acts at a hotel in Bloomington in a room he paid for in cash and registered for under a different name. He received money from the victim as a result of the sex acts that he arranged for her.

At the time of these offenses, Charles was a registered sex offender based on a 2014 conviction in Dakota County for soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct.

Law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation included the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Dakota County Community Corrections, St. Paul Police Department and Apple Valley Police Department.

“This case represents another successful collaborative effort by law enforcement to help victims and lock up bad guys,” Anoka County Sheriff James Stuart said. “The trafficker’s evil actions are motivated by greed and show his willingness to destroy the lives of others for profit.”

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