| Iowa City Press-Citizen
Three eastern Iowa men have been sentenced to a combined total of 64 years in prison for child sex trafficking.
“The defendants in these cases were buyers and sellers of children in our community,” a statement Wednesday from Marc Krickbaum, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Iowa, reads. “They exploited vulnerable teenage girls for their own sexual gratification, and collectively they will serve many decades in federal prison. Federal law does not distinguish between ‘johns’ who will pay for sex with a minor, and pimps who offer minors for sex. Both groups are serious criminals, and we will treat them as such.”
Tommy Tate Collins, 42, of Cedar Rapids was sentenced to 17.5 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of child sex trafficking. Collins admitted to paying a minor between 15 and 16 years old with money and drugs for sexual acts. Collins was sentenced on Dec. 7.
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Albert Kelly Price, 41, of Iowa City and North Liberty pleaded guilty to sex trafficking two minors, and trafficking a total of three minors, all between the ages of 14 and 16. Along with paying them for sexual acts, Price used “physical force on each minor,” according to the release. He was sentenced to 29 years in prison on Friday.
Arrion Marcus West Jr., 26, of Iowa City was sentenced on Monday to 17.5 years in prison for trafficking two minors aged between ages 15 and 17. West arranged sexual acts with customers through advertisements on escort websites and “used physical violence towards one victim,” according to the release.
Along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa, officials from the Iowa City Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation and the Coralville Police Department investigated the cases.
Judge Stephanie M. Rose, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, presided over the cases.
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How to help:
According to the release, signs that a person is being trafficked can include “working excessively long hours, unexplained gifts, physical injury, substance abuse issues, running away from home, isolation from others, or having a person in their life controlling them or monitoring them closely.”
If you need assistance, or suspect someone else may be in danger, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Cleo Krejci covers education for the Iowa City Press-Citizen. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter via @_CleoKrejci.