- The Washington Times - Monday, March 19, 2012

A 36-year-old Texas man was sentenced Monday in federal court in Dallas to 30 years in prison followed by 30 years of supervised release on his guilty plea to conspiracy to traffic women for prostitution, including those involved in adult escort websites headquartered in Dallas and Fort Worth as well as Boston and Washington.

Marcus Choice Williams, 36, of Fort Worth was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David C. Godbey on his guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to transport persons for prostitution; six counts of transporting persons for prostitution; one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion; two counts of attempted sex trafficking by force; and one count of money laundering.

Co-defendants Kenya Thomas, 32, of Plano, Texas, and, Preston Petitt, 45, of Houston, were sentenced in April 2011 to 37 months in prison and two years of supervised release for their roles in the conspiracy.

“The courts sentence clearly reflects the seriousness of these awful sex trafficking crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, who heads the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. “The victims suffered physical assaults, sexual abuse and daily degradation all because of this defendants greed and callous disregard for them as individuals.

“We are committed to prosecuting sex traffickers and vindicating victims rights, as they were vindicated today,” he said.

Williams, also known as “Cross Country Redd,” “Redd” and “Marcus Choice,” recruited vulnerable women, specifically single mothers from troubled backgrounds, court records show. In some cases he used a combination of deception, fraud, coercion, threats and physical violence to compel the women to engage in prostitution.

“The idea that an individual can be held in captivity by another person and forced to work in the world of prostitution is shocking to most people, and todays sentence of 30 years in federal prison, shows the seriousness of the defendants crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana in Texas.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Errin Martin and Civil Rights Division trial attorney Myesha Braden.