HOUSTON, Texas — A Houston man pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to sex trafficking a child by posting classified advertisements on Backpage.com.
Twenty-seven-year-old Deangelo Tate made admissions when he made his guilty plea to one count of sex trafficking of children that for three months in 2015 he promoted the prostitution of a 17-year-old female. He rented hotel rooms in Corpus Christi and Houston and took the teenage girl there. He pocketed all of the money for trafficking her and would be physically violent if she did not follow his orders.
Tate admitted that he knew the girl was underage at the time he was forcing her into prostitution. He even told law enforcement investigators, in a recorded interview, that the girl had no credibility because of her age, according to information obtained by Breitbart Texas from the U.S. Department of Justice.
After being held by Tate for more than two months, the girl was finally able to call for help on March 16, a criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. The girl, referred to as “Jane Doe 1” in the complaint, called the Corpus Christi Police Department via 9-1-1. She said she was in a motel room bathroom at the Red Roof Inn on the south side of the city. She said she had been beaten up and was not allowed to leave the room. She begged the operator for help. She described Tate as a black male.
Officers dispatched to the motel tried to contact Tate in the adjoining room where Jane Doe 1 said he would be. Officers eventually made contact with Tate and another black male. He confirmed that there were two girls in the adjoining room but told investigators he had just met them that day, the complaint states.
Officers knocked on the door where the girls were reported to be held. After receiving no answer, the officers kicked in the door. They found Jane Doe 1 in the room with an adult female described in the complaint as “Jane Doe 2.” Officers observed multiple injuries to Jane Doe 1 and transported her to a local hospital. An examination revealed abrasions to her chest and lower back along with extensive bruising on multiple parts of her body. The girl’s beatings also resulted in the loss of two of her lower teeth, an ulceration to the inside of her lower lip, a burn on her right hand, and swelling on her neck. Doctors also noted that she had sustained genital trauma.
During her initial interview with police, Jane Doe 1 identified Tate as her “pimp.” She stated that Tate had burned her with a cigarette lighter and knocked out her teeth.
The investigation revealed that Tate had taken “sexy photos” of the girl and posted them on Backpage.com in an ad that stated, “big juicy b0oty only in town for a few days you soon – 22.” The ad appeared along with another similar ad in the “escorts” section of Backpage.
Tate pleaded guilty to the charge of sex trafficking children before U.S. District Court Judge Gray H. Miller on Friday. Judge Miller set a sentencing date of February 17, 2017.
Backpage.com CEO Carl Ferrer was arrested in October. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told reporters that Backpage.com is a “deep-seated evil” “in our backyard” that provides for the trafficking of children and adults, Breitbart Texas reported.
“Making money off the backs of innocent human beings by allowing them to be exploited for modern-day slavery is not acceptable in Texas,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I intend to use every resource my office has to make sure those who profit from the exploitation and trafficking of persons are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Breitbart Texas has reported about the prosecution of the Backpage CEO, and about sex trafficking victims that have been promoted on Backpage.com.