NEWS HEADLINES

Teen forced into sex trade

By Brandon Evans | Published Saturday, August 3, 2013

Just a few months after meeting an older man online, a young woman from Chico found herself allegedly engaged in a sexual trafficking case involving a 14-year-old girl.

Shayla D. Williams

Shayla D. Williams, 20, who dropped out of Chico High School in the 10th grade, has been charged with assaulting the 14-year-old, as well as two charges of indecency with a child by sexual contact and one count of trafficking of persons under 18 for prostitution.

Her former partner and the apparent ringleader, William Jacobs, 30, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault of a child and one of trafficking of persons under 18 for prostitution last Friday in Denton County district court. Jacobs received a 20-year sentence. He was facing charges ranging from five to 99 years for the first-degree felony. His three 20-year sentences will be served concurrently.

William Jacobs

Williams is working with her defense attorney to also reach a plea deal with the state.

She met Jacobs in May 2012 on a website called mocospace.com. It’s a social media website similar to Facebook, except it focuses on introducing users to new people. Jacobs eventually picked Williams up from a location in Fort Worth, and according to court records, for the next few months, Williams engaged in prostitution and gave the money to Jacobs.

It was during this time Williams and Jacobs met the 14-year-old girl from Allen. According to court documents, they persuaded the minor to join them at a Lewisville hotel about July 7. They then took her to Amarillo and out-of-state to have sex with approximately 30 men for money over the next few weeks. They found clients online. It was a whirlwind of drugs, abuse and prostitution during the three weeks they kept the girl.

Her mother had reported her missing to the Allen Police Department, and on July 30, 2012, Lewisville police located the victim at a Lewisville hotel where the couple had left her.

The two suspects were arrested in an Arlington hotel parking lot on Sept. 11, 2012, and both confessed during separate interviews with police, according to investigators’ affidavits.

The case was filed by the North Texas Trafficking Task Force. Denton County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case because the couple first met the girl in Lewisville.

Also, several of the possible clients appeared to be either University of North Texas students and a professor, according to a story published earlier this week by the North Texas Daily. The student newspaper also reported the state is not actively pursuing charges against any of the clients who had sex with the 14-year-old girl.

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