Camden Co. man pleads guilty to sex trafficking

CAMDEN CO., Mo. - A Camden County man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to sex trafficking charges.

36-year-old Joshua Smith pleaded guilty to one county of sex trafficking and one count of attempted sex trafficking. 

Smith admitted to using force, fraud, and coercion to benefit financially from prostitution of one woman between November 2011 and March 2012. Smith also attempted sex trafficking on another woman between December 2010 and November 2011.

Smith allegedly met one of the women on a dating website in 2011. Smith became abusive shortly after they got together. Smith allegedly made the woman quit her job at a hotel, and forced to her to have sexual activity with other men for money that he collected.

According to a report by the U.S. Attorney's office in Kansas City, Smith abused the woman and threatened to kill her family if she ever left him. Smith also threatened to harm his own family if she ever contacted authorities for help. The woman was raped by a group of men while buying drugs for Smith, but was able to get away with the help of one of Smith's family members. 

Smith met another woman through yet another online dating site in December 2010. That woman attempted to break up with Smith after she bailed him out of jail in Eldon. The woman continued to relationship with Smith after he reportedly threatened to kill her. The woman claimed he threatened to kill her at least 100 times between assaulting her and attempting to convince her to have sex with other men. 

The woman got an order of protection against Smith, and kept a record of all of the threatening texts and emails she received from Smith. Smith allegedly posted Craigslist ads without her knowledge, advertising her for sexual activity. 

Smith will be sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole, and will be required to pay restitution. 

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