Tuesday, September 13, 2016
HOUSTON – A 28-year-old Houston man has entered a plea of guilty to two counts of sex trafficking by the use of force, fraud and coercion, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
Roger Maldonado came to the attention of law enforcement after law enforcement found a female at a hospital whom Maldonado had physically assaulted in August 2015. The victim had suffered a forehead laceration, upper and lower eyelid contusions, neck abrasions, a finger contusion and abdominal trauma. At that time, the female advised law enforcement that Maldonado was her boyfriend and that he had assaulted her.
In September 2015, law enforcement found a second female whom Maldonado had also assaulted. The investigation revealed that Maldonado had been trafficking these two victims on Backpage.com as well as at Pink Spa - a sexually-oriented business located in Houston known by law enforcement for prostitution activities.
Through their investigation, law enforcement discovered Maldonado had been taking photographs of these victims and posting advertisements in order to solicit business for these victims. Maldonado would set up the dates for the victims and transport the women in order for them to engage in commercial sex acts. The victims would then turn a portion of the money over to the defendant. Ultimately, Maldonado used force, threats of force, fraud and coercion to have these victims perform commercial sex acts from which he benefited financially.
Maldonado pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas who set sentencing for Nov. 29, 2016. At that time, Maldonado faces a minimum of 15 years and up to life in federal prison.
The FBI and Houston Police Department investigated.
This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly Ann Leo and Sherri Zack, was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."