MADISON, Wis. – A Madison pimp who used social media to recruit victims was sentenced to nearly two decades in prison Monday, officials said.
Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Jeffrey Anderson said 28-year-old Maurice Adonis Withers was sentenced by Judge William Conley to 18 years in federal prison for trafficking four women and one girl.
According to the release, Withers was convicted in May of nine counts of sex trafficking, including three counts that involved a victim who was a minor.
Withers used force and threats of force to coerce women to work as prostitutes for him in Dane and Sauk counties, in the cities of Madison, Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo, and also transported three of the victims to Las Vegas to engage in prostitution there for a month.
Specifically, Withers was convicted of two counts of sex trafficking a minor, three counts of sex trafficking adults by force or threats or coercion, one count of attempted sex trafficking an adult by force or threats or coercion, one count of transporting a minor from Wisconsin to Nevada with the intent that the minor engage in prostitution, and two counts of transporting adults from Wisconsin to Nevada with the intent they engage in prostitution.
The evidence presented at trial included testimony from all five victims about Withers’ use of force, threats and coercion that caused them to engage in prostitution in 2015. Withers had been recruiting women and girls to prostitute for him since at least 2010, and he used social media to target women and girls. Once the victims met Withers in person, he would coerce them to work for him as a prostitute, and if they resisted, he used violence, threats, intimidation, degradation and psychological manipulation to force them, Anderson’s office said.
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