Dimitrise Lyghts, 23, of Lubbock, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings to 293 months in federal prison, following his guilty plea in March 2017 to one count of sex trafficking of a child related to his pimping a 15-year-old girl in Lubbock, Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.In addition, at Friday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Cummings ordered that following his custody sentence, Lyghts must serve a 10-year term of supervised release. He must also register as a lifetime sex offender.
Co-defendant Marcelia Sanchez pleaded guilty in November 2016 to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of a minor. Judge Cummings sentenced Sanchez in February 2017 to 60 months in federal prison.
“Make no mistake, the horrific crime of trafficking young girls for sex resides in the dark underbellies of even our best communities,” said U.S. Attorney Parker. “Together, we can get survivors the help they deserve, and ensure that traffickers who prey on the most vulnerable among us get the sentences they deserve.”
According to documents filed in the case, in late May 2016, Lyghts contacted a 15-year-old female, “K.M.,” by phone and by Facebook, suggesting that they could “hang out.” On June 3, 2016, Lyghts and a friend of his picked up K.M. and another girl at an apartment in Lubbock. Lyghts provided drugs to K.M., and asked her if she would run an ad on Backpage so they could get a hotel room. She agreed to do it once, and Lyghts ran an ad on K.M. in Backpage. Shortly after the ad was run in Backpage, Lyghts arranged with a man who called in response to the ad, for the man to pick up K.M. and take her to a motel in Lubbock. K.M. was picked up, as had been agreed, and went to the motel with the man, where they engaged in sexual intercourse for the payment of a fee.
Between June 3 and June 7, 2016, K.M., with the assistance and direction of Lyghts and Sanchez, was transported and provided for several male “customers” to engage in commercial sex acts. On several occasions, Lyghts received the payment made for the sex acts performed by K.M. Lyghts also personally drove K.M. to various meetings with men for the purpose of K.M. engaging in commercial sex acts with the men.
Project Safe Childhood (PSC) is a Department of Justice initiative that aims to combat the proliferation of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, tribal and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. These cases include prosecutions of child sex trafficking; sexual abuse of a minor or ward; child pornography offenses; obscene visual representation of the sexual abuse of children; selling or buying of children; and many more statutes.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Lubbock Police Department investigated the case.Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Sucsy was in charge of the prosecution.