BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man who pleaded guilty to sex trafficking charges involving a runaway 15-year-old a year ago has been sentenced to 9 years in prison.
Erick Banks, 31, admitted to enticing the teen to engage in prostitution, starting in early 2011.
Banks would place ads describing the girl as "Sinsational" or "Blonde Bunny" on an online service frequently used by people in the commercial sex trade.
He also instructed the victim how to talk to potential customers on the phone and how to tell if a customer was a cop.
According to reports, Banks coordinated five instances where the teen would engage in sexual activity for money at a Baton Rouge hotel. The victim would then give the money she received to Banks.
The girl was missing for about a week before she was reunited with her family.
Acting United States Attorney Walt Green stated: "We will not tolerate the sexual exploitation and trafficking of vulnerable, young teenagers, and hope this significant sentence serves notice to others inclined to engage in such despicable conduct. We appreciate the strong work of the FBI and the Baton Rouge Police Department and commend the Middle District Human Trafficking Task Force for its efforts in educating law enforcement and the public in general about this issue. We are also inspired by the courage of the victim in this case and hope it inspires other victims of sex trafficking to come forward."
Along with the nine year sentence, Banks was also sentenced to five years supervised release after imprisonment and ordered to pay the victim $1,200 in restitution.