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Jury finds Cincinnati man guilty of sex trafficking, exploiting 2 teens

Southern District of Ohio, Press Release

A federal jury recently convicted Kelly Richards, 43, of Cincinnati, with sex trafficking minors, sexually exploiting children and illegally possessing a firearm as a previously convicted felon.

Richards is also known as “Scorpio” and has a tattoo of a scorpion on the left side of his face. The jury found him guilty on all counts following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Jeffery P. Hopkins.

According to court documents and trial testimony, investigators were alerted in March 2023 that two juveniles had been screened as potential sex trafficking victims.

Richards picked up two minor victims who had fled a group home in Dayton and drove them to an apartment complex in Cincinnati. At the apartment, Richards provided the minors with cocaine before sexually assaulting them.

Richards also enticed the females into having sex with other men for money that was paid to Richards. The defendant created prostitution advertisements online with explicit pictures of the minor victims and used physical violence against them. Court documents detail that one victim was prostituted up to four times per day in hotels and homes.

Sexually exploiting children is a federal crime punishable by a range of 15 to 30 years in prison. Sex trafficking minors carries a potential penalty of at least 10 years and up to life in prison. Illegal possession of a firearm in this case is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court at a future hearing.

Federal agents arrested Richards on May 16, 2023.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Elena Iatarola, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and other members of the FBI’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force announced the verdict. Assistant United States Attorneys Kyle J. Healey and Megan Painter Gaffney are representing the United States in this case.

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