PHOENIX — A Phoenix man, Deandre James was sentenced on Friday to 354 years in prison after being found guilty of Child Prostitution, Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Child Sex Trafficking, Custodial Interference, and Involving Minors in a Drug Offense.
According to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, between March and September of 2015, the defendant convinced a 15-year-old victim to work as a prostitute for him requiring her to give him half of all the money she made preforming sex acts with men the defendant arranged for her to meet.
James was also having sex with the minor victim during the same time period.
Out of state authorities found the victim, who had been given drugs by James, and transported her back to Phoenix where she stayed at a group home. James then convinced the victim to leave the group home and come back to working as a prostitute for him. This time joining a 17-year-old girl James was also trying to recruit to work as a prostitute.
Investigators looking to sex trafficking were able to start a conversation with the younger victim who had just turned 16-year-old. She eventually admitted to working for James as a prostitute.
When James was arrested and interviewed by investigators he told them he believed the 16-year-old victim was 18-years old and while he admitted to having sex with her he continually denied that he had any part in prostitution.
James was found guilty of 14 counts of Child Prostitution, two counts of Sexual Conduct with a Minor, and one count each of Child Sex Trafficking, Custodial Interference, and Involving Minors in a Drug Offense.