From the Brazosport Facts (subscription required) http://thefacts.com/news/article_53f3b916-ba27-58cc-8540-1391f7bb1b0b.html
GALVESTON — The last of seven accused child sex traffickers pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday, according to a news release. The group solicited children as young as 15 online for commercial sex, U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick said in the release.
Sweeny resident Joseph Church, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday, which would have been the first day of jury trial, in the U.S. Southern District of Texas Court in Galveston, according to the news release. Court documents show Church faces charges of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, production of child pornography and three counts of sex trafficking of minors, according to court documents.
He faces at least 10 years and up to life in prison; sentencing is set for May 15, the release states.
Six others previously pleaded guilty to charges related to their respective roles in the trafficking ring, including five from Brazoria County — Angela Marks, 25, of Sweeny; Jamaal Crane, 26, of Angleton; Norris Moon, 25, and Christopher Walton, 24, both of Brazoria; Alisa Kimbler, 26, of Freeport; and Eric Page, 20 of Sherman, according to the release.
Charges filed in relation to the case included conspiracy, gun charges and posting of online sex ads.
Page, Walton and Crane are out on bond, court documents show, while the rest remain in custody.
Sentencing for Moon, Page and Marks is set for May 21, court documents show. Sentencing for Kimbler, Garcia and Walton is set for May 22, according to court documents.
Church was the leader of the group, the news release states.
The group induced three girls to pose for pictures used in online advertisements for sex and engaged in sex acts for money, the release states. Church and the rest of the group kept all the money the children earned and used cellphone applications to monitor the victims, according to the release.
The defendants knew the victims were younger than 18, the release states.
The FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the case along with sheriff’s offices in Brazoria and Galveston Counties and police departments in Galveston, Sherman, Wharton, La Marque and the University of Texas Medical Branch, according to the release.
A federal grand jury indicted the seven people in July 2017.
Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.