Columbia Woman Sentenced for Sex Trafficking
KANSAS CITY - A Columbia woman was sentenced in federal court on Monday, March 5 for her role in a sex trafficking conspiracy in which a child victim was sold into prostitution.
40-year-old Brandy Key was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner to 10 years in federal prison without parole. In October 2011, both Key and her co-defendant, 37-year-old Eric Gathings, pleaded guilty. Gathings will be sentenced on Tuesday, March 6, but under the terms of his plea agreement he is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10-15 years in federal prison without parole as well.
Gathings admitted in 2009 he recruited a homeless minor to engage in prostitution for his financial benefit. The Department of Justice said Gathings provided housing for the child, but took the child's earnings in exchange.
After firing a sawed-off shotgun in his front yard, Gathings was imprisoned where he continued to sell the child victim through the assistance of an organized prostitution ring. The Department of Justice said the ring, operated by Key, was called ‘Aleesha's Angels.' Key would handle the victim and sell her for sex while Gathings was in custody. This included scheduling appointments with customers and advertising the child for sex acts on the Internet.
Gathings said the child provided him with enough earnings to assist him with bond. Key also profited from selling the child for commercial sex acts.