In November 2013, a month after being released from prison, Michael Wayne Wade met a girl.
Wade, 31, had served a five-year sentence in state prison for failing to register as a sex offender. In a phone call recorded by the 15-year-old girl — identified in court documents as “MV” — Wade told her he wanted her to “hustle” — to work as a prostitute with him acting as her “daddy,” or pimp.
“I see potential in you and like I can mold you into ... a goddess,” Wade told her, according to court documents.
Wade pleaded guilty last August to recruiting the girl for sexual services in Boise between November 2014 and a year later. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday, plus 10 years of supervision after his release.
His conviction was the first in Idaho under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, passed in 2010. It provides heightened sentences, with a minimum sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison.
Thursday’s sentencing came during National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, proclaimed by former President Barack Obama.
“This case is a prime example of the cooperation that we see in the Treasure Valley among law enforcement agencies at all levels, particularly when it comes to protecting our children, our society’s more vulnerable members,” said U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson. “Michael Wade callously victimized a 15-year-old girl, seeking to sexually exploit her for his own gratification and profit.”
Wade was caught when an Idaho probation officer found incriminating texts on Wade’s phone and turned in his information to the Boise Police Department. Investigators spent two years on the case.
Wade’s plans to pimp the girl were initially interrupted when he was arrested in December 2013 on a second charge of failing to register as a sex offender. He had a previous conviction for sexual contact with a girl younger than 14. He also had a conviction for aggravated assault in a case where the victim later died.
Five months later, he was placed on probation. Under the terms of his probation, he was prohibited from contacting minors or possessing a cell phone that could connect to the Internet.
Despite the restrictions, Wade sent “MV” text messages to entice her to work as a prostitute when she was 16. He had her send him photos that he used in escort postings on the website Backpage.com. The first ad appeared on July 16, 2014. Wade was arrested the following day on a probation violation.
Even from jail, Wade had contact with “MV” and another prostitute working for him, according to phone calls and text messages provided to the Boise Police Department by the Ada County Jail. He directed the other woman to take the girl “under her wing” and ensure she was working, according to court documents.
Authorities said Wade had sex with the girl at least twice, despite knowing she was underage.
Boise Police Detective Mike Miraglia, who investigated the case, had simple advice for parents to keep their children from falling victim to adults looking to exploit them.
“Keep an eye on your kids,” Miraglia said.