A Blue Springs woman has been sentenced to 15 years because she looked the other way while her daughter was prostituted for sadomasochistic sex. (We're not naming Mom, because that would let people ID the victim here.) Tony Rizzo has a report on the case, viewable here. The woman was also ordered to pay $200,000 restitution. She's the first person in the country to be prosecuted under a federal human-trafficking law in a case where the victim was her own child. From Tony's report:
The girl was 12 in 2000 when (codefendant Todd) Barkau, with the mother’s knowledge, trained the girl to engage in sadomasochistic sex acts with him and others.
When the girl was 14, Barkau set up a website that billed her as “Mistress Alisha.” For two years, he offered her for in-person and online sexual encounters in exchange for cash or items such as DVD players or cappuccino machines. The mother knew about the business, witnessed some of the sessions and benefited economically from her daughter’s sexual encounters, authorities said.
Like the mother, Barkau pleaded guilty last fall. His plea deal calls for a 25-year sentence. They reportedly made $80,000 off the victim, who is now in her early 20s.