TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — The Office of Attorney General Ken Paxton announced on July 12 that along with the Travis County District Attorney's Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety, a Travis County District Court sentenced 28-year-old Kedrick Nelms to 40 years in prison for sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl in 2016.
According to a press release issued from Paxton's office, a Travis County jury found Nelms guilty on June 20 of trafficking of persons and of compelling prostitution of a minor, both first-degree felonies. Nelms reportedly opted to have the judge determine his punishment.
His girlfriend, Kirsten Violette. was sentenced on Nov. 8 to a 20-year prison term for trafficking and compelling the prostitution of a minor.
“As a result of this successful, first-of-its-kind partnership between my office, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Department of Public Safety, a dangerous and despicable human trafficker has been brought to justice,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I’m grateful to the prosecutors and our law enforcement partners for their tireless work on this collaborative effort. My office will continue to work to protect victims from sex trafficking and prosecute those who profit from the exploitation of human beings.”
Paxton's office reported the attorney general’s Human Trafficking and Transnational/Organized Crime section assisted the prosecution of the case. The Texas DPS conducted the investigation that led to the prosecutions.
According to the release, Nelms used a social media app called Tagged to lure the victim into a relationship. He then introduced her to his girlfriend, who allegedly conspired with Nelms to traffic her for prostitution in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio in June 2016.
“The prison sentences in these cases reflect our determination to rescue victims of human trafficking and prosecute those who commit these horrible crimes,” Attorney General Paxton said. “I’m grateful to the prosecutors and our law enforcement partners for their diligence and hard work on this collaborative effort. My office will continue to go after traffickers so that we can end the exploitation of human beings.”
Officials said it took the jury one hour to return guilty verdicts on both charges against Nelms.