Sharlise Michelle Duckworth, 27, appeared today before U.S. Magistrate Donald C. Ashmanskas, on a federal indictment charging sex trafficking of a minors and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors. Duckworth entered a plea of not guilty, was released on pre-trial release conditions and ordered to report for trial on March 2, 2009. Conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors carries a maximum penalty of five years In prison and sex trafficking of minor has a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and maximum of life in prison.
The federal indictment alleges Duckworth and co-defendants Stanley Mack Spriggs Jr., a.k.a. “Bug”, 26, and Hollie Robin Spriggs 27, both of Eugene/Springfield were involved in a conspiracy to recruit, entice, and provide minor girls online to engage in sex acts for money. Defendants would take photographs of the minors that were used with commercial sex advertisements on Craigslist and other online advertising services. Hotel rooms were rented so the minors could engage in sex. All of the proceeds from the illegal activity was given to the defendants. The federal charges comes after a lengthy investigation conducted by the Eugene Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Stanley Mack Spriggs is in state custody serving a prison sentence for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He will be arraigned at a later date. Hollie Robin Spriggs has been served with a summons to appear U.S. District Court, Portland on January 20, 2010.
An indictment is only an accusation of a crime, and a defendant should be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was brought by the Oregon Human Trafficking Task Force (OHTTF). The OHTTF was created in May of 2005. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the task force provides a comprehensive collaborative approach to combat human trafficking through partnerships between federal, state, local law enforcement, social service providers, and other government and non-government agencies. For more information about OHTTF visit http://www.oregonoath.org. To provide a local tip on a human trafficking please call Multnomah County Sheriff Deputy Sgt. Keith Bickford at (503) 251-2479. You can also report human trafficking tip to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or go online to NHTRC@PolarisProject.org.
This case was investigated by the Eugene Police Department and the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Kemp L. Strickland is handling the prosecution of the case.