A 30-year-old father was convicted of trafficking of a child and compelling prostitution of a person under 18 for listing his 4-year-old daughter as available for sex on Craigslist, according to documents from Harris County, Texas, criminal court.
Andrew James Turley advertised his toddler daughter on Craigslist in an advertisement titled, “Play With Daddy’s Little Girl,” prosecutors said.
The original case was filed in 2015 when Turley posted the ad. He was sentened to 30 years on each count for a maximum of 60 years in prison of which he must serve 45 before being eligible for parole, court records show.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Turley Exchanged About 70 Emails With an Undercover Agent Who Responded to the Ad, Prosecutors Say
In November of 2015, Andrew James Turley posted an advertisement on Craigslist offering his toddler daughter as available for sex. The ad was placed in Houston, Texas, where Turley lived and had visitation with his daughter at the child’s mother’s Houston apartment. Turley is originally from Illinois and when sentenced days ago, had been living in Wisconsin out on $300,000 bond. The original ad, which was part of the exhibits at trial, is sealed in court records. But in a statement, prosecutors said Turley thought that the child was too young for intercourse but other sex acts were “ok.”
Turley was contacted about the ad and exchanged about 70 emails about setting up sex with his daughter, according to prosecutors. What Turley did not know was that he was communicating with undercover Houston sex crimes cops. In those communications, Turley said he’d drug the child with “sleep meds” before the person arrived to have sex with his little girl.
2. Turley Said the Cost Was $1000 for 2 Hours of Sex With His Four-Year-Old Daughter
In the correspondence, court records show and prosecutors said, Turley told undercover officers that his pre-school-age daughter was perhaps “too young for intercourse but everything else was OK.” The meeting was discussed and on Nov. 12, 2015, the undercover officer arrived.
First, Turley checked to make sure the cash was right; $1000. And then, he “escorted him to a bedroom where the girl was lying in bed and appeared to be ‘under the influence of an unknown substance,'” the Houston Chronicle reported. Many of the case exhibits and the original charging document is unavailable, although much of the case is available to the public.
“This case broke my heart,” Harris County Assistant District Attorney Stewanna Miskell said, “A father is supposed to be a protector not a predator. Jurors saw the need to keep him out of our community.”
3. Turley Graduated From New Berlin High School in Wisconsin & Served in the U.S. Army
Andrew James Turley is from New Berlin, Wisconsin, and graduated from New Berlin High School, according to his Facebook page. After high school, Turley served in the U.S. Army. He joined the military in 2012. He posted that year about heading to Fort Benning for training.
Details of Turley’s military service were not immediately available and it is not known if he was still an active duty service member when he was arrested in 2015. A Facebook photo from 2013 shows that Turley was a Second Lieutenant at the time. Turley served
Along with his daughter, Turley is also the father of a young son, his Facebook profile shows.
4. Turley Faced a Jury Trial, Was Convicted on Both Counts & Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison
Turley was arrested and charged in 2015. His trial was last week. The witness list was voluminous consisting mostly of police officers and expert witnesses. Turley was examined by a psychiatrist which Harris County taxpayers covered.
The trial lasted just a few days. The charges on which he was convicted are trafficking of a child and compelling prostitution of a person under 18. Turley was sentenced to serve 30 years on each with parole not an option until he has served at least 45 years. He will be 75 when he is eligible for release.
5. Craigslist Just Recently Removed Its Personal Pages
Wired reported that Craiglist precipitously shuttered its longtime popular and infamous personals section a couple of days ago. Wired suggested the timing made sense: Craigslist shut them down “days after Congress approved a bill expanding the criminal and civil liability of website operators over user-generated content.”
The “Allow States and Victims’to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act” (FOSTA) is a measure designed to impeded sex trafficking. FOSTA is actually an amendment to the existing Communications Decency Act.
Craigslist said, “Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking Craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.”
According to its website, the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children says child sex trafficking is more common than people realize.
“…it involves the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, or advertising of a minor child for the purpose of a commercial sex act. Traffickers often prey upon a child’s vulnerability and use psychological pressure and intimidation to control the child for financial benefit relating to their sexual exploitation. Purchasers of children for sex encompass all racial, socio-economic and cultural statuses. Child sex trafficking has devastating consequences for its minor victims, including long-lasting physical and psychological trauma, disease or even death.”
The Center For Missing & Exploited Children established its Child Sex Trafficking Team (CSTT) to provide specialized technical assistance, analysis and recovery services on cases involving child sex trafficking, including: reviewing CyberTipline reports relating to child sex trafficking;
assisting on cases of missing children involved in, or at risk of, trafficking; and
providing technical assistance and training to help with the identification, location and provision of recovery planning to victims of child sex trafficking.
If you have information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, please report to the CyberTipline or call 1-800-THE-LOST.