New Orleans, Louisiana – A New Orleans, Louisiana man has been sentenced to ten years in prison for coercing a girlfriend’s daughter to engage in criminal sexual activity.
U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown declared the punishment of Kentrell Knighten, a 39-year-old resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, for coercion of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity.
U.S. District Judge James D. Cain, Jr. imposed a prison sentence of 121 months (10 years and 1 month) on Knighten, which will be followed by a 15-year supervised release.
On September 13, 2022, a friend of a 15-year-old girl who was a high school student (‘the young victim’) noticed Knighten, who was her mother’s boyfriend, sending her texts. According to this friend, through these messages, Knighten was asking her how much he’d have to pay her to sleep with one or more of his friends from a different city in Louisiana.
The young victim’s friend informed the school counselor about what she had witnessed, prompting the authorities to be notified. Following a search warrant, law enforcement officers were able to seize and search the victim’s cell phone and interview her.
Authorities discovered explicit text messages from Knighten probing the minor about how much she would charge for sexual relations with his friends. These conversations took place in September 2022.
From the messages, it was apparent that the minor had concerns about being left alone with other adults. Knighten attempted to reassure her by promising that he would remain present and that she would receive payment ranging from $75 to $100.
Upon questioning by law enforcement officers, Knighten conceded that he had texted the victim about engaging in sexual transactions with other adult men.
“We urge parents to be keenly aware of who they allow around their children and into their homes,” stated U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown. “Child exploitation touches every corner of our community. This office will be vigilant in protecting our youth and prosecute all who try to disrupt the American family through criminal activity. We look forward to this defendant serving a lengthy prison sentence and an even longer period of court supervision once released.”
The investigation of the case was carried out by the Department of Homeland Security Investigations and the prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Luke Walker.