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May 6, 2015Topeka, KS, United StatesChild Exploitation

Kansas couple indicted in federal court for forcing teen girl into prostitution

TOPEKA, Kan. — A northeastern Kansas couple was indicted in federal court Wednesday for forcing an underage girl into prostitution.

This indictment resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); the Kansas Department of Revenue; the Kansas police departments of Topeka, Junction City, Ottawa, Riley County and Fort Riley; and the Kansas district attorneys’ offices of Shawnee, Pottawatomie and Riley counties.

Reginald E. Newman, 29, and his wife, Tiara Jade Newman, 21, both of Topeka, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to sex trafficking a minor, and one count of sex trafficking a minor.

The indictment alleges the teen victim was introduced to the couple on March 21, 2015.  The couple then conspired through March 30 to engage her in prostitution. She voluntarily travelled with them from Topeka to Manhattan, Kansas, where they planned for her to engage in commercial sex acts. The defendants posted ads on a commercial Internet site, including one ad offering a “two girl special.”

This indictment further alleges Reginald Newman held a gun to the victim’s head and threatened to kill her if she did not participate in a commercial sex act with a male customer. Furthermore, Reginald Newman forcefully administered an illegal narcotic to the victim.

If convicted, each defendant faces a penalty of not less than 15 years in federal prison on the sex trafficking charge, and a maximum penalty of life on the conspiracy charge.

The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page.

HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.

Updated: 06/03/2015