TALLAHASSEE, Florida – A Tallahassee man was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison July 23, 2020, after his conviction on sex trafficking charges. Dishay Henderson, 36, was sentenced following a January jury verdict finding him guilty of enticement of a minor to engage in prostitution and two counts of sex trafficking of a minor.
“Sex trafficking of minors has absolutely no place in our society,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe. “It is a shameful, despicable practice, and the United States Attorney’s Office is committed to working closely with our federal, state, and local partners to pursue justice on behalf of the victims of this heinous crime.”
Henderson used his Tallahassee home in early 2018 as a location for commercial sex trafficking and drug activity. He specifically harbored and solicited a 16-year-old girl, prostituting her to others for personal and financial gain. At times, his methods were violent and aggressive. In announcing the sentence, Chief United States District Judge Mark E. Walker noted that the sentence was, in part, aimed to deter others from “preying on the most vulnerable among us.”
WTXL reported: The victims told police that Henderson, known to them as “Speedy” or “Black,” allowed them to stay at his home on Georgia Street, but only if they brought in money. According to complaint documents, that meant the teens were forced to participate in prostitution.
Documents say that Henderson not only forced the victim to “sell their bodies,” but also made them have sex with him on multiple occasions in exchange for drugs.
When investigators spoke with Henderson in March 2018, he told them that he denied ever touching them, smoking drugs around them, or charging them to stay in his home. He went on to say that he allowed the victims to stay at his home for free “out of the kindness of his heart.”
Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Spaven prosecuted the case, which was jointly investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“I continue to be amazed by the outstanding work of TPD’s Special Victims Unit, specifically Investigator Beth Bascom. Once again, her tireless dedication to defend some of our most vulnerable citizens has resulted in a predator being taken off the streets. We appreciate the support and cooperation of HSI and our partner agencies,” TPD Chief Lawrence Revell said.
“This predator used sex trafficking to profit from the sexual abuse of young girls,” said Micah McCombs, acting deputy special agent in charge for HSI in Tampa. “The sentencing he received highlights the gravity of this crime, and we are proud the Tallahassee Police Department and our HSI special agents stopped him from doing more harm to young children.”