The following press release was issued on Friday, December 16, 2022 by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of Pennsylvania.
PITTSBURGH, PA - A former resident of Hammond, Indiana, has been sentenced in federal court to 444 months in prison followed by lifetime supervision on his conviction of sex trafficking a minor and production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced today.
United States District Judge Christy Criswell Wiegand imposed the sentence on Roderick King, 33, formerly of the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois.
According to information presented at trial and to the Court, the Minor Victim was just 14 years-old when King, an over-the-road truck driver, first paid her to have sex in the back of his semi-truck. He initially enticed the Minor Victim by offering to give her cash to “hang out” though his true interest was sexual abuse of the child.
Over a three-year period, King paid the Minor Victim hundreds of dollars in cash for sex on approximately 10 occasions and produced two videos of his sexual exploitation of the Minor Victim. In addition to paying the Minor Victim, King bought her shoes, clothes, and other items that teenage girls wanted, engaging in what is known as “grooming” behavior. King maintained control over the Minor Victim, when he was away from her, by using his social media accounts.
In imposing the sentence, the Court called King’s conduct “extraordinarily serious” and noted that of the “many disturbing facts” of the case, one of the most disturbing was King’s “lack of remorse.”
Assistant United States Attorney’s Rebecca L. Silinski and Jeffery R. Bengel prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
“This defendant will spend the next 37 years in prison for preying upon, exploiting and abusing a vulnerable young girl for his own sexual gratification,” said U.S. Attorney Chung. “This sentence sends a clear message that predatory crimes, such as child sex trafficking and exploitation offenses, will continue to be vigorously prosecuted by this office.”
U.S. Attorney Chung further praised the work of local, state and federal law enforcement involved in this investigation, which began in 2017 by the Butler Township Police Department and was reopened federally, in 2020, by special agents with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Group, and special agents with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General Child Predator Section after the Minor Victim reported King’s conduct to law enforcement. Federal investigators were further assisted by the Butler Township Police Department, Butler City Police Department, Butler City School District, and Butler County Children and Youth Services.
The charges for which King has been sentenced concern a specific victim. Members of the public who may have additional information about King’s or other perpetrators’ involvement in sex trafficking and child exploitation are encouraged to call HSI’s tip-line at 866-347-2423.
This prosecution is part of Operation T.E.N. (Trafficking Ends Now), an umbrella coalition for law enforcement, community, and non-profit partners in the 25 counties in the Western District of Pennsylvania, formed and led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Asst. U.S. Attorney Rebecca Silinski serves as the Human Trafficking Coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and oversees Operation T.E.N. and community outreach. This coordinated effort aims to end human trafficking through education and improved cooperation among law enforcement partners, victim service providers and community members, thereby enhancing the Office’s ability to empower victims of human trafficking to become thriving survivors.