Michael Wayne Wade, 30, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to a federal charge of sex trafficking of children, Idaho's U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
“This defendant callously victimized a minor, commercially exploiting her for the sexual gratification of others and for his personal profit,” Olson said in a news release.
According to court documents, investigators found explicit text exchanges with a 16 year old, including photos of the girl, on Wade’s cell phone after he was arrested for a felony probation violation in July 2014.
A Boise police detective discovered that the images of the minor on Wade’s phone had been posted on Backpage.com in an ad for escort services in Boise. The posts were made using a Backpage.com account for a woman who admitted she worked as a prostitute in Boise and said Wade was the boss who “pimped her,” according to the news release. The woman, whose name was not released, told police she took the minor on at least two dates where the girl engaged in commercial sex acts, and that she received money from the minor in exchange for posting the ad and transporting her.
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The girl admitted to police she participated in prostitution when she was 16. In texts and phone calls, Wade told the teen she had "mad potential" and revealed he knew she was 16, according to the news release.
Wade is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 10. Sex trafficking of children is punishable by at least 10 years and up to life in prison plus a fine of up to $250,000.