DALLAS, Texas (U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas) — A Dallas man has been found guilty of sex trafficking a 14-year-old minor and an adult victim, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Prerak Shah.
After less than a half hour of deliberation, a federal jury in Dallas convicted Anthony Lennell Acy, 34, on one count of child sex trafficking and one count of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
“Human trafficking is one of the most degrading crimes we prosecute. Like so many traffickers, this defendant preyed on vulnerable victims, lining his pockets at the expense of their dignity,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah. “The North Texas Trafficking Task Force is proud to stand against the exploitation of women and girls.”
“Sex trafficking has no place in our communities. HSI will vigorously pursue anyone involved in the exploitation of victims for commercial sexual acts,” said Ryan L. Spradlin, Special Agent in Charge HSI Dallas. “We will aggressively investigate these types of cases to ensure predators are identified, arrested, and face the justice deserved.”
According to evidence presented at trial, Mr. Acy trafficked at least two victims — including the 14-year-old girl, a runaway from McKinney, Texas — out of multiple hotels in Dallas and in California.
Agents with the North Texas Trafficking Task Force testified that they recovered Jane Doe 1 and Adult Victim 1 out of a Dallas hotel room and arrested Mr. Acy as he was leaving the hotel parking lot.
At trial, Jane Doe 1 testified that Mr. Acy approached her in a parking lot next to a hotel a couple weeks after she ran away from home. Jane Doe 1 stated that Mr. Acy told her that she could model for his clothing line and then drove her to a hotel, where he offered her dinner and a place to stay that night. She testified that Mr. Acy later forced her to take ecstasy pills, caused her to engage in commercial sex in Dallas and in California, and physically assaulted her multiple times.
Adult Victim 1 testified at trial that Mr. Acy first recruited her over Facebook, claiming that he wanted to be her boyfriend. Adult Victim 1 stated that, after she traveled to Dallas to visit Mr. Acy, he took her cell phone and her car keys and forced her to engage in commercial sex in order to pay back the money he claimed to have spent on her. Mr. Acy trafficked Adult Victim 1 first in Dallas and later in Austin and California. Adult Victim 1 testified that Mr. Acy forced her to earn $1,000 a day, with all proceeds turned over to him.
Both victims testified that Mr. Acy repeatedly beat them, threatened them at gunpoint and knifepoint, and threatened to kill them and their families if they called the police.
In the course of the investigation, investigators reviewed Mr. Acy’s hotel records, phone records, financial records, online advertisements, and Facebook posts that corroborated the victims’ accounts of Mr. Acy’s sex trafficking activity.
Mr. Acy now faces a minimum sentence of 15 years and up to life in federal prison.
The North Texas Trafficking Task Force, led by Homeland Security Investigations, conducted the investigation, with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, the Colleyville Police Department, and the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rebekah Ricketts and John Kull are prosecuting the case. U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle presided over trial.