TWENTYNINE PALMS DEFENDANTS ACCEPT PLEA BARGAIN IN SEX TRAFFICKING TRIAL

TWENTYNINE PALMS DEFENDANTS ACCEPT PLEA BARGAIN IN SEX TRAFFICKING TRIAL

Two Twentynine Palms residents accepted a plea bargain Thursday afternoon in the middle of their trial in Joshua Tree for sex trafficking. According to court records, deputies found a teen girl in the desert near Twentynine Palms in June 2015, and determined that she was the victim of a sex trafficking ring. In January 2016, investigators arrested Kevin Akins, now 28, and Aubrei Wilson, now 23, who lured girls and young women to Twentynine Palms, promising them romantic relationships. Once the girls and women arrived in Twentynine Palms, they were forced to work as prostitutes. Akins’ and Wilson’s trial started Tuesday, and Thursday afternoon, the trial was halted when Akins and Wilson agreed to a plea bargain. Kevin Akins pleaded guilty to causing a minor to engage in commercial sex; depriving another of personal liberty; pandering by procuring, and threatening a crime; in exchange, three charges of pimping, one charge of pandering, and one charge of inducing a minor were dropped. Kevin Akins can face up to 20 years in state prison when he is sentenced May 5. Aubrei Wilson, who was being tried along with Akins, pleaded guilty to inducing a minor to engage in commercial sex; pimping; and depriving another of personal liberty, in exchange for the dismissal of three charges of pandering, one charge of pimping, and one charge of a minor engaged in prostitution. She could receive a sentence of eight years in state prison.

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