- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Houston man has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison for a prostitution conspiracy.

A federal judge in St. Louis on Monday sentenced 33-year-old Thomas Szczerba. He was convicted of several counts in February. A co-defendant, Keisha Edwards, pleaded guilty in February and faces sentencing May 24.

Prosecutors say Szczerba and Edwards befriended the victim in 2015 in Houston and began grooming her to work as a prostitute. In July 2015 in St. Louis, the victim called 911. Edwards and Szczerba were arrested that day.

Szczerba’s attorney, Justin Gelfand, said in an opening statement at his trial that his client was not a pimp but traveled to play poker in casinos.

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