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February 2, 2016Topeka, KS, United StatesHuman Smuggling/Trafficking

Kansas woman pleads guilty to sex trafficking a minor

TOPEKA, Kan. — A Topeka woman pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl.

This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Revenue, and the following Kansas police departments: Topeka, Riley County, Junction City, Fort Riley and Ottawa.

Tiara Jade Newman, 22, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking.

In her plea, she admitted that on March 21, 2015, she and her husband, co-defendant Reginald Newman, 29, took a 17-year-old girl from Topeka to Junction City, Kansas, for the purpose of prostitution.

The Newmans rented two rooms at a motel in Junction City. The rooms – one room for performing commercial sex acts and the other where the three slept – were rented March 21 to March 25.

On March 21, Tiara Newman and the girl met a solder from Fort Riley at the motel. The soldier paid $250 to have sex with both of them.

On March 26, Tiara Newman took the girl along on an “out call” to a hotel in Manhattan, Kansas. Newman told the customer that the girl was new and she was showing her the business. The customer noticed that the girl was nervous and gave her a tip.

Reginald Newman kept all the money from the commercial sex acts. He pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing April 1.

Tiara Newman’s sentencing is set for May 2. She faces a penalty of not less than 15 years and a fine up to $250,000.

This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.

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.

Updated: 02/04/2016