KATY, Texas — A Houston-area man has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison for physically forcing women into sex trafficking, including one women who was kidnapped with her infant child, federal prosecutors announced on Friday.
29-year-old Marquis Holmes, aka "Goldie," formerly of Katy, Texas, had previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by means of force, fraud and coercion; two counts of transportation to engage in prostitution; and two counts of enticing and coercing another to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution. He was sentenced on Friday, March 13, 2020, before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake to 420 months for the conspiracy charge and 120 months and 240 months for the transportation and enticement convictions, respectively, all of which will run concurrently.
Following his term of imprisonment, Holmes will be ordered to register as a sex offender and will serve 20 years of supervised release and must comply with numerous restrictions designed to restrict his access to children and the internet.
"In handing down the sentence, the court noted the heinous and violent nature of Holmes’ crimes," read a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of Texas.
According to information presented in court, from June 2015 until his arrest in March 2018, Holmes recruited women on social media websites, often under false pretenses, to work as prostitutes for him and, while under threat of violence and actual violence, prostituted two of the women in Houston and Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mississippi; Alabama; South Carolina and other locations across the country.
During testimony, one victim described how Holmes forced her to earn $1,500 per day or suffer physical harm which included kicking and whipping her repeatedly with a thick belt.
"Holmes was amused during moments when he would physically assault her," read the statement, in part. "The victim also detailed the paranoia, fear and depression she suffered for years after leaving Holmes."
Holmes collected all the money the women earned.
At the time of his arrest on March 30, 2018, authorities rescued a women and her infant who he had kidnapped at his residence. Prosecutors say Holmes raped the woman daily and forced her to solicit commercial sex dates along the 1.3-mile stretch of Bissonnet Street in southwest Houston, commonly referred to as "The Track."
"If she did not meet the monetary quota Holmes had set, he beat her and deprived her of food," stated prosecutors.
Holmes has been and will remain in custody pending his transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.