A 37-year-old Baton Rouge woman admitted to a federal judge Tuesday that she prostituted a minor girl who lived with her and gave her illegal drugs while running a sex trafficking business from her home and other locations in 2013.
Kellie M. Dominique also acknowledged to U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick that she used prostitution proceeds to pay their cellphone bills and to help save her home from foreclosure.
Dominique, dressed in green East Baton Rouge Parish Prison garb, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor.
Dick said she will sentence Dominique, who was scheduled to stand trial later this month, after a presentence investigation report is completed. The judge told Dominique she will have to register as a sex offender.
“She has accepted responsibility for her role in a very tragic and unfortunate event,” Andre Belanger, one of Dominique’s attorneys, said outside Dick’s courtroom.
A Zachary man, 34-year-old Jeremie Tate, was sentenced to more than 9 1/2 years in federal prison in September after pleading guilty to using multiple prostitutes, including the minor involved with Dominique, while operating a prostitution business from late 2012 to late 2013.
Roxanne Merritt, 21, of Greenwell Springs, who worked with Dominique and Tate, also previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in federal prison.
A federal grand jury in Baton Rouge indicted Dominique in July, accusing her of recruiting, enticing and harboring the minor girl to have her engage in commercial sex acts. Dominique advertised her prostitution business on Backpage.com, the indictment said.
Dominique used text messages with the girl to set up prostitution sessions and to discuss earnings from the sessions, according to the indictment charging Dominique with sex trafficking of a minor, attempted sex trafficking of a minor, obstruction of justice and using an interstate facility (telephones) in aid of racketeering.
Federal prosecutors filed a superseding bill of information against Dominique last month, charging her with conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor. That is the charge she pleaded guilty to Tuesday.
Tate pleaded guilty in April to racketeering-related charges and enticing another to travel interstate for prostitution. He admitted to personally recruiting prostitutes and advertising for and scheduling prostitution sessions.
A Baton Rouge hotel worker’s tip resulted in Tate’s arrest in September 2013. An undercover probe by local and state authorities led them that month to the juvenile girl and a 19-year-old woman who told authorities they were forced to have sex with multiple men daily in exchange for money they paid directly to Tate.
A factual basis included in Dominique’s written plea agreement states that her illegal conduct occurred from June 2013 until September 2013.