Houston man sentenced to 40 years in prison for sex trafficking minors

HOUSTON – A man is serving a massive sentence after he was convicted on sex trafficking charges.

According to a news release, 25-year-old Romello Lee was charged with one count of trafficking a minor for commercial sex and one county of trafficking a minor by force for commercial sex.

Authorities said that From July 2017 to March 2018 Lee “harbored, advertised and profited from commercial sex acts of the 16-year-old minor victim.”

Lee forced the teen to earn a quota of $500 per night and would beat and threaten her if she did not meet it or disobeyed him, according to the release. He also held a second victim against her will and made her engage in sexual acts by threatening her with violence and coercion.

Two of his victims testified in court and said there would be consequences if they were to escape and they were expected to be branded with a tattoo of Lee’s name or rap label, according to the release.

After listening to the testimonies and seeing numerous Backpage ads, Instagram posts and text messages between Lee and the minor detailing her nightly dates, quota and beatings, the jury deliberated for an hour and came back with a guilty verdict.

Lee was sentenced to 480 months (40 years) in federal prison. He was also ordered to pay restitution to known victims and will have to serve the rest of his life on supervised release following the completion of his sentence.

During his sentence, Lee will have to “comply with numerous requirements designed to restrict his access to children and the internet. He has also been ordered to register as a sex offender.”

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.