AKRON, Ohio (WKBN) – Two men from Lima, Ohio were convicted by a federal jury of human trafficking charges for their roles in a conspiracy in which girls, then 14 and 16 years old, were forced into sex for money.
Lorenzo Young, 31, was convicted on eight counts, including conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, sex trafficking of a minor and participating in a child exploitation enterprise, among other crimes. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 7.
Aundre Davis, 35, was convicted on six counts, including conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors, sex trafficking of a minor, and other crimes. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 31.
Megan Hitt, Randy Thompson and three other people previously pleaded guilty to crimes related to the conspiracy. Hitt is scheduled to be sentenced June 1.
Prosecutors say Young, Davis, Thompson and Hitt coerced girls aged 14 to 16 to engage in sex for money in Lima and Fort Wayne, Indiana. They did this by taking and posting sexually explicit photos of the girls on backpage.com, transporting the girls, renting motel rooms for them and negotiating prices. This took place between November 2015 and January 2016, according to court documents and trial testimony.
“These individuals violated the rights of some of our most vulnerable in our community – the children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen D. Anthony. “The FBI will continue working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively pursue justice for human trafficking victims and to put their perpetrators behind bars.”
“Human trafficking is a devastating crime that must be stopped. It victimizes people within every segment of society throughout our nation,” said Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin. “I want to thank the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office for their help in enforcing the law against those who will engage in human trafficking within the Lima community. We are grateful for the cooperative working relationship we have with them and the many other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that are working together to make human trafficking a thing of the past. The Lima Police Department cannot accomplish this alone.”