TOPEKA, KAN. - A Topeka woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to taking part in an interstate sex trafficking business, Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said.
Rachel Flenniken, 34, Topeka, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and two counts of using an interstate facility in furtherance of prostitution. In her plea, she admitted working for a male co-defendant who was running a prostitution business in Topeka. At times, as many as 20 females were working as prostitutes in the organization. Flenniken’s employer rented houses where some of the prostitutes were allowed to live. He used Web sites, social media and cell phones to advertise sexual services and to keep track of the prostitutes.
Flenniken admitted she began working for the male co-defendant as a prostitute in 2008. By 2010, he put her in charge of other prostitutes. She was responsible for keeping track of their meetings with clients and collecting the money they received. She arranged interstate travel for the purpose of prostitution, posted on-line advertisements for workers, and maintained communication with prostitutes while they were working.
Sentencing is set for Oct. 17. She faces a penalty of up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.
Co-defendant Frank Boswell, 42, Topeka, Kan., is awaiting trial.
Beall commended the Topeka Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney for their work on the case.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.