A 24-year-old will serve time in prison after he was found guilty of sex trafficking a 15-year-old girl in Massachusetts, federal officials said.
In January 2021, Keion Rowell, of Canton, met the 15-year-old girl who had run away from home, according to a news release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
Rowell told the girl she would have to take part in prostitution and posted nude photos of her online, officials said. He then talked to buyers and sent the girl to perform sex acts with the men in exchange for money Rowell would keep, prosecutors said.
The teen estimated that she made Rowell about $600 per day and was also being sexually abused by him during her involvement in prostitution, according to a government sentencing memorandum.
Federal officials said one time when the teen didn’t make enough money for Rowell, he punched her in the face.
About 10 days after the girl’s family reported her missing, FBI agents set up an undercover date at a Holiday Inn in Dedham, the criminal complaint stated.
When the teen was rescued there, she had Rowell’s phone with her, and upon reviewing the material on it, officers found photos of the girl and Rowell, his personal bank information, and links to online advertisements of her, the Jan. 31 release said.
“Understandably, we were disappointed with the jury verdict. Following trial, the defense was provided with newly discovered evidence that would have been helpful to the defense,” Jason Benzaken, Rowell’s lawyer, told McClatchy News in an email. “I believe this evidence would have played a significant role in the jury’s evaluation of the case and witness credibility. I sought a new trial on these grounds but the motion was denied. Mr. Rowell looks forward to advancing his various claims of error on appeal.”
Benzaken did not specify what was included in that evidence.
Rowell was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years of supervised release after being convicted of sex trafficking of a child, federal officials said.
Dedham is about 15 miles southwest of Boston.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.
To report potential trafficking situations, you can contact the national hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or chat with the online hotline.
If you have experienced sexual assault and need someone to talk to, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for support at 1-800-656-4673 or visit the hotline's online chatroom.