A man and woman who victimized a 14-year-old girl in a sex-for-money operation based in Riverside County pleaded guilty to federal charges and are to be sentenced July 21.
Kawaum Marquez Scott, 24, of Quail Valley, and his girlfriend, 22-year- old Nekeyia Necole Weatherspoon of Perris, were arrested in November by FBI agents and Riverside police following a months-long investigation.
During a pretrial hearing before U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips Tuesday, defense attorneys and prosecutors announced a plea agreement had been reached in the case. Under the deal, Scott admitted two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, while Weatherspoon, also known as "Keey Bee," admitted one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the plea agreement stipulates a 17-year sentence for Scott and a sentence ranging from seven to 14 years for Weatherspoon.
The defendants remain held without bail at a federal detention center.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit filed by FBI Agent Jeffrey Stiff, the victim, whose identity was not released, resided with her mother in a converted garage adjacent to Weatherspoon's house in the 18200 block of Haines Street in Perris.
Stiff said the teenager became close to Weatherspoon, who told her she could make money by going on "dates" with unfamiliar men. According to the affidavit, the first date occurred in October 2012 when the defendant drove the girl to a Woodland Hills home and told her to perform oral sex on a man for $120. The youth alleged that when she refused, Weatherspoon threatened to leave her at the location, at which point the victim complied with the demand.
A couple of weeks later, the girl told investigators, Scott and Weatherspoon took her to a motel on Florida Avenue in Hemet, where for three days she performed a variety of sex acts with unknown men in exchange for $100 payments -- all of which Scott and Weatherspoon collected.
According to Stiff, Weatherspoon allegedly arranged a string of sexual encounters between the teenager and "Johns," some of whom met her for intercourse in the backs of their vehicles, typically in restaurant parking lots in Hemet, Moreno Valley and Perris. The defendants allegedly directed the girl to tell each client that she was 18 years old and to identify herself as "Hunnie B," according to the FBI.
To attract customers, the defendants snapped revealing pictures of the teen and posted them on various websites, using a mobile phone that Weatherspoon kept in her possession to communicate with prospects, the FBI alleged.
The illicit activity continued through November and December 2012, according to the affidavit.
In January 2013, the girl finally broke down and disclosed to her mother what had been going on, at which point the woman contacted the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
The Inland Child Exploitation-Prostitution Task Force, composed of local law enforcement officers and federal agents, initiated an investigation that entailed finding and downloading cached Internet ads, collecting motel receipts and speaking with witnesses, according to the affidavit.
The defendants were temporarily residing in Riverside when they were arrested.
– City News Service.