Cleveland man pleads guilty to trafficking teen girls for sex

Could face life in prison
Posted at 5:11 PM, Jun 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 17:11:02-04

A 23-year-old Cleveland man pled guilty in federal court Friday to trafficking three teenage girls for sex.

Ronnie Pratt Jr. was arrested last November as part of a nationwide FBI sting into sex trafficking across the United States that captured 153 alleged suspects.

Pratt admitted to recruiting teenage girls as young as 13 and posting their photos on an internet web site advertising sex with "lovely college girl"--even though he admitted they were underage.

Prosecutors said Pratt drove the girls to local motels and waited outside in his car with a.38-caliber handgun to make sure the teens followed through.

Pratt was among several sex traffickers revealed in an exclusive 5 On Your Side investigation into sex trafficking leading up to the Republican National Convention in July.

Law enforcement and advocacy groups say they expect an increase in sex trafficking during huge events like political conventions and sports events.

Our investigation found Ohio ranks fourth in the nation in the number of calls to a sex trafficking hotline and last year there were 104 arrests and 33 convictions.

Pratt could face live in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 26.