Huntsville man pleads guilty to paying for sex with smuggled teen

Huntsville man pleads guilty to paying for sex with smuggled teen

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A Huntsville man has pleaded guilty to the sex trafficking of a child.

The Department of Justice states Billy R. Edwards, 63, pleaded guilty before a U.S. district judge on Wednesday to charges of commercial sex trafficking, coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in prostitution, and being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

Darwin Moises Amador-Zepeda, the teen's father, is charged with commercial sex trafficking and coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in prostitution. His case is proceeding to a trial, but a date has not yet been set.

Edwards's plea agreement says that he paid Amador-Zepeda so that he would persuade or coerce his child to have sexual encounters with Edwards and that the two used cell phones to induce or coerce the child to engage in sexual acts.

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The sexual encounters reportedly continued for several months until Edwards stopped paying for them.

The child told law enforcement about the sex trafficking in May 2017. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Edwards' home in September 2017. He had previously been convicted of a felony and conspiracy to commit fraud.

"The trafficking of any human being, especially a child, is unconscionable, unthinkable, and unforgivable," Town said. "Our Human Trafficking Task Force remains committed to bringing these despicable traffickers to justice and we have reserved bed space in prison for them all, which will only serve as temporary quarters on their road to perdition," said U.S. attorney Jay Town.

The U.S. Attorney's office says Edwards could face up to life in prison up to $750,000 in fines.

Edwards is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 12.

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