Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kansas City, Mo. Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking of a Child

According to a September 16, 2009 Department of Justice press release, a Kansas City, Mo. man pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to the attempted commercial sex trafficking of a child.

Steven C. Albers, a forty-year-old insurance manager, was one of seven defendants indicted as the result of Operation Guardian Angel, an undercover law enforcement investigation targeting would-be customers of child prostitution in the Kansas City area. The indictments are part of the first federal prosecution of alleged child prostitution customers under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

The sting operation was conducted from March 5 to 7, 2009. The police advertised the "children" online at craigslist.org, although no children were actually involved. On March 5, Albers responded to a posting advertising "little girls available." The undercover officer told him that he had an 11-year-old and 15-year-old girl available. Albers told the officer that he would like to spend an hour with the 11-year-old, during his lunch break so that he would be able to drive from his office near the Country Club Plaza. Later he revised it to half an hour plus an extra $20 to go "bareback," i.e. to have sexual intercourse without a condom. The total price was to be $80.

The arresting officers emerged from a bedroom at the undercover house after Albers arrived and provided money to the undercover officer. Albers attempted to flee, but was apprehended in a neighboring yard.

Albers will be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in prison without parole, and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to the website, although the Trafficking Victims Protection Act has previously been used to prosecute "pimps," these indictments are the first in the nation to charge "Johns" with attempts.
At least three others arrested as part of the sting have already pleaded guilty, including a naval recruiter, a finance manager for an automotive dealership, and a truck driver.

For additional information from the sources of this article, please visit the following sites:


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