On July 11, 2022, a federal jury found Roderick King, 32, guilty of one count of sex trafficking a minor and two counts of production of material depicting the sexual exploitation of a minor. The jury deliberated for just over one hour before reaching its decision.
In his April 2021 trial, prosecutors revealed that King, a truck driver, paid a minor victim hundreds of dollars for sex on approximately ten occasions. When King met the victim, she was fourteen years old. King also made two videos of himself raping the minor victim.
King primarily used Snapchat and Facebook accounts to communicate with the minor victim. The usernames he used to communicate with the minor victim included “fuckabeatiwastr,” “Raphael Bloomberg,” and “Raphael Huxtable.” At trial, prosecutors established King used his social media accounts to maintain control over, manipulate, and exploit his victim.
In the Fall of 2020, the minor victim reported King’s crimes to the Butler Township Police Department. King was eventually arrested. The minor victim stated that she reported King’s crimes to the police because “30-year-old men shouldn’t be having sex with little kids.”
According to a Department of Justice press release, this prosecution is part of Operation Trafficking Ends Now (Operation T.E.N.). Operation T.E.N. is a coalition of 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, which was established in 2020.
The CSE Institute commends the bravery of the minor victim for reporting King, testifying at trial, and courageously standing up to his questioning. It is without dispute that survivor voices will change the trafficking narrative. In addition, the CSE Institute commends the work of the United States Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania for its diligent prosecution of King’s crimes, as well as the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Group, special agents with the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General Child Predator Section, the Butler Township Police Department, and Butler County Children and Youth Services, whose investigation led to the prosecution of King.
In its press release, the Department of Justice also noted that King’s crimes reportedly involved only one victim. Therefore, members of the public are encouraged to offer additional information about King’s crimes of sex trafficking and exploiting others and call HSI’s tip-line at 866-347-2423 and state the report is to HSI-Pittsburgh regarding Roderick King.
King’s sentencing has not been scheduled.
The CSE Institute will continue to provide updates on this matter.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.