The following press release was issued on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Arkansas.
Victim Was Six Years Old At The Time Of The Offense
LITTLE ROCK—A Palestine man was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a six-year-old child. Mario Waters, 34, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Brian S. Miller.
In February 2018, a six-year-old child was taken to Arkansas Children’s Hospital due to symptoms that were later determined to be caused by several sexually transmitted diseases. The child was interviewed by an FBI forensic interviewer and disclosed that a man, later determined to be DeMarcus George, had raped her. The child also disclosed that another man, later determined to be Mario Waters, had also raped her. The child told interviewers that the rape occurred in a hotel room with a curtain in the middle of the room, and she described a picture hanging on the wall in the hotel room. According to the child, on at least one occasion, Waters came to the hotel room where she was with George; Waters raped her; and Waters gave George money.
Law enforcement was able to locate a hotel in Little Rock that matched the description provided by the minor, including the picture on the wall and the curtain in the room. Financial records from the hotel showed that the minor’s mother had rented a room at the hotel in March 2018 and paid with a credit card. The child has since been removed from the mother’s custody.
Doctors at Arkansas Children’s Hospital determined that it was unlikely the child had obtained each sexually transmitted disease from the same offender and that there were likely multiple offenders. Officers obtained search warrants for George and Waters’ blood and urine. Results indicated that George and Waters tested positive for sexually transmitted diseases that the minor had contracted.
Both George and Waters were indicted in September 2019, and both pleaded guilty in November 2021. Both defendants admitted in court that they had sexual contact with the minor and were involved in trafficking her with others. George was sentenced to life in prison on October 25, 2022. There is no parole in the federal system.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the Little Rock Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Kristin Bryant prosecuted the case.