Cleveland man indicted on human trafficking charges

Cleveland man indicted on human trafficking charges

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland man was indicted on two counts related to human trafficking, according Steven Dettelbach, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office.

According to court documents, Ronnie L. Pratt trafficked two underage girls by taking photos and posting them on www.backpage.com. Pratt handled all text communications with potential customers and transported the girls to "dates." He kept a portion of the money they were paid for the commercial sex acts. The conduct took place between July and November 2015.

One of the girls was 13 when she began working for Pratt, according to court documents.

The documents also say Pratt had a gun that he used to intimidate at least one of the girls.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bridget Brennan, following an investigation by the FBI.

If convicted, the defendant's sentence will be determined by the court, after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including his prior criminal record (if any), his role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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