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June 23, 2015

For Immediate Release

Newport News, Virginia


On July 23, 2105, a 19-year-old Newport News man pled guilty to rape, robbery and a gun charge for his brutal attack on a woman who was being sexually trafficked.

West encountered the victim through an advertisement on a website offering sex in return for money on August 26, 2014. The victim, who had been trafficked since she was about 13 years old (including being traded from pimp to pimp), was meeting men a hotels through an advertisement set up by her current trafficker and under threats from that trafficker.

West pulled a gun on the victim, raped her at gunpoint, robbed her and left her naked and terrified in the hotel room. As a result of the attack and her prior mistreatment the young woman struggled with drug addiction, but through this prosecution she has begun to heal and to escape victimization.

West is facing up to life in prison on charges of rape, robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and will be formally sentenced on Sept. 11, 2015.

This prosecution would not have been possible without the dedication and compassion of Newport News police detectives and the Victim/Witness Services unit of the Commonwealth’s Attorney Office.