Philadelphia man found guilty of sex trafficking a minor on Backpage.com | USAO-EDPA
PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams has announced that Rodney Kent aka “Hott Rodd,” aka “Hott,” 50, of Philadelphia, PA, was found guilty in a sex trafficking trial, stemming from his force coercion of a minor to engage in prostitution.
In September 2018, Kent was charged by arraignment with forcible sex trafficking of a minor, fraud and coercion stemming from his actions to traffic the victim. The accused and the victim first met on a digital social networking app in June 2016. Kent then met the victim, who was a teenager, and transported her to a home where he manipulated her to she poses for pictures. The accused then advertised the underage victim for sex on Backpage.com for several weeks; during this time he also verbally and physically assaulted the victim, including using cigarettes to burn her. The victim was finally able to escape from the accused’s house and alert the police. In April 2018, the Department of Justice seized Backpage, which was the main internet forum for advertisements about prostitution, including advertisements depicting child prostitution.
“The crime this defendant has committed is one of the most devastating to victims that our office is pursuing,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Kent forced a young, underage child to sell his body for his own greed and financial gain. We will continue to work collectively to investigate these destructive crimes against the most vulnerable victims. »
“While this defendant faces years in prison for his despicable acts, his victim will suffer the effects for the rest of his life,” said Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “The FBI works tirelessly to find and capture the monsters that prey on our children. To those who partake in this brand of evil as a means of earning a living – we seek you, we will find you, and you will find yourself paying the price inside the penitentiary walls.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to address the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Criminal Division, Project Safe Childhood brings together federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alexandra M. Lastowski and Vineet Gauri.