Ohio man convicted of sex trafficking girls to Missouri for prostitution

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ST. LOUIS (AP) – An Ohio man could face up to life in prison after being convicted of transporting four teenage girls to Missouri to engage in prostitution.

A four-day trial in U.S. District Court in St. Louis ended Thursday when 54-year-old  of Columbus, Ohio, was convicted of several counts related to sex trafficking. Sentencing is April 19.

Prosecutors say the man and two women brought three 17-year-old girls and a 15-year-old runaway to the St. Louis area in December 2015 and advertised sexual services on Backpage.com.

Columbus police searching for the runaway tracked her phone and found the victims in a St. Charles, Missouri, motel.

The defendant’s attorney said during the trial that his client was running a legal adult entertainment business but had been misled about the ages of the girls.