Prosecutors Claim That The Woman Was “Lured” Into The Unsettling Prostitution Ring By Man’s Gifts And Romance

Prosecutors claim that an Ohio man who had sparked a love relationship with a homeless woman and forced her into prostitution “countless times,” even across state lines, was sentenced to more than three years in jail.

Prosecutors Claim That The Woman Was

“He exploited (the woman) when she was vulnerable and lured her in with romance and gifts, hallmarks of a genuine relationship,” prosecutors said of 41-year-old Leon Sims, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. “He then sold (her) for money countless times over months, keeping the earnings for himself.”

According to a news release issued by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, Sims was sentenced to 37 months in prison last week for engaging in interstate prostitution, a violation of the Mann Act.

Sims was initially brought to the attention of law enforcement in December 2020 when the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky reacted to an internet ad for prostitution. Prosecutors claim that an undercover constable set up a meeting with a woman who saw the advertisement at a nearby Holiday Inn. The woman later told police that Sims had driven her to the hotel.

According to a news release issued by the Department of Justice on Tuesday, Sims was sentenced to 37 months in prison last week for engaging in interstate prostitution, a violation of the Mann Act.

Sims was initially brought to the attention of law enforcement in December 2020 when the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in Kentucky reacted to an internet ad for prostitution. Prosecutors claim that an undercover constable set up a meeting with a woman who saw the advertisement at a nearby Holiday Inn. The woman later told police that Sims had driven her to the hotel.

The woman informed authorities that Sims had been setting up meet-ups for her to participate in prostitution for months when deputies saw Sims waiting in a car outside the hotel.

Prosecutors claim that Sims had a romantic relationship with the woman beginning at the beginning of 2020, and during her homelessness, the woman received gifts from Sims. He then allegedly threatened to punish her if she didn’t pay him back for the presents and required her to earn $1,000 per day.

Prosecutors stated in a court document that “(Sims) specifically threatened to prevent her from sleeping or eating if she did not comply,” as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Prosecutors claimed that between October 2020 and January 2021, Sims made plans for the lady to be sent to meet up with Johns for sex in California, Ohio, and Kentucky. According to reports, Sims threatened the woman with a gun when she refused to go to California to become a prostitute. Sims was also charged with physically abusing the lady and pushing her into having sex with him on multiple occasions.

“Subsequent investigation revealed that, from at least October 2020 through January 2021, Sims arranged prostitution activities for the victim using online advertisements, managed those activities, communicated with prostitution customers and kept the profits from the prostitution appointments. During the course of managing the victim’s prostitution activities, Sims transported the victim from Kentucky to both Ohio and California for the purpose of prostitution,” the DOJ said in its press release last week.

“At sentencing, it was determined that Sims used fraud or coercion to get the victim to participate in prostitution including verbal threats, withholding basic necessities, and false promises.”

The woman was driven across state lines by Sims, according to Sims’ lawyer, but he denied that Sims ever coerced the woman into having sex in exchange for money. The woman freed Sims from jail after his initial arrest in December 2020, the attorney continued.

“However, despite knowing Mr. Sims only a few months, she did not take the opportunity to inform law enforcement of any dangerous or unwanted situation she had found herself in, nor did she take advantage of an opportunity to ‘escape’ Mr. Sims while he was arrested and incarcerated and she was not,” the attorney wrote, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The lawyer continued by saying that the woman had informed the authorities about Sims in order for him to be treated well.

After his incarceration in 2020, Sims relocated to California, then to Las Vegas in 2022. In the meanwhile, in February 2021, new accusations of human trafficking were brought against Boone County, Kentucky. Sims was taken into jail by Las Vegas authorities in January 2022 when they learned he had an outstanding warrant in Kentucky.

His incarceration began in January 2022. After Sims was nationally indicted this year, the Boone County charges were withdrawn, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

According to federal law, Sims must serve out 85% of his sentence and will be under observation by the government for three years after being released from prison.

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