MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – A 40-year-old Wisconsin man was sentenced to over ten years in federal prison for sex trafficking a minor.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Wisconsin, 40-year-old Adrian Edwards of Madison will spend the next 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sex trafficking a minor.
Court records show that Edwards encountered the 16-year-old victim in Utah sometime in January 2021, when the two were at a mutual friend’s house. The victim confided to Edwards that she had a difficult home life, and he offered to help her with a place to stay if she needed it.
A few days later, the 16-year-old girl called Edwards to take him up on that offer. Edwards bought her a train ticket to Iowa, where he picked her up and brought her to Wisconsin.
Edwards immediately took pictures of her and posted ads on websites offering various sexual services in exchange for money. Edwards set the prices, arranged the meetings, arranged the hotels, and kept the bulk of the money gained from the trafficking activity.
On February 2, 2021, the Middleton Police Department received a complaint from a local hotel that someone was overstaying their reservation, and the hotel employees suspected sex trafficking.
Police responded to the hotel and found the victim alone in the room, along with Edwards’ belongings and identification. Edwards was indicted in July 2021, and a federal arrest warrant was issued. He was ultimately arrested in January 2022 in Arizona.
At Edwards’ sentencing, the judge observed that this was a horrifying case where the defendant took a child away from her family, isolated her, and immediately trafficked her for his own gain.
The Court stated that although consent was irrelevant here, the victim did not know she was coming to Wisconsin to engage in prostitution. The judge further noted that Edwards’ crime was calculated and sustained.
No additional details were provided.