The Latest: Jury convicts Montana man of sex trafficking

February 7, 2018

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Latest on the trial of a Montana man accused of running a sex trafficking ring (all times local):

3 p.m.

A jury has found a Missoula man guilty on sex trafficking charges after authorities said he lured women and girls into the commercial sex trade and then bullied and abused them so they’d keep working for him.

Thirty-five-year-old Terrance Tyrell Edwards was found guilty on multiple counts of sex trafficking by force, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in prostitution and obstructing a sex trafficking investigation.

Prosecutors said he enlisted as many five women in his scheme, abusing them so they wouldn’t leave and taking all the money for himself.

Edwards denied the charges during his trial and testified that he was running a legal escort service.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 21 before U.S. District Judge Susan Watters.

12 p.m.

A jury began deliberations on the federal trial of a Missoula man accused of luring women and girls into a sex trafficking scheme.

The deliberations on a verdict for 35-year-old Terrance Tyrell Edwards began Tuesday in Billings and continued Wednesday.

Edwards is charged with multiple felonies, including sex trafficking by force or fraud. He has denied the charges and testified that he was running a legal escort service.

Federal prosecutors called 24 witnesses during the course of the trial that began last week.

Prosecutors said Edwards would force women into prostitution through threats and violence.

In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno Baucus described Edwards’ operation as commercial sex and said the case was about “greed, power, control and manipulation.”

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