Topeka woman pleads guilty in sex trafficking case

Published: Dec. 19, 2016 at 1:08 PM CST
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A Topeka woman has pleaded guilty to sex trafficking of a minor. The US Attorney's Office says 36-year-old Michaela Hekekia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.

In her plea, she admitted to training a minor female to work as a prostitute, and transporting the girl from Kansas to a motel in Joplin, Missouri to work as a prostitute.

The US Attorney's office says Hekekia admitted conspiring with co-defendants to run a Topeka-based prostitution business that operated in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. At times, as many as 20 females were working as prostitutes for the organization. The leader of the organization rented houses where some of the prostitutes were allowed to live. The organization used Web sites, social media and cell phones to advertise sexual services and to keep track of prostitutes.

Hekekia says she started working for the organization as a prostitute and gradually took on other duties including recruiting and training sex workers and managing advertising for sex services.

She is set to be sentenced in late March. The government has agreed to recommend a sentence of no more than 70 months in federal prison.

Several co-defendants are set for trial next year.