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Woman in sex case gets 20 years in prison

July 23, 2009 at 12:42 PM

ST. LOUIS, July 23 (UPI) -- St. Louis resident Waquita Wallace will spend 20 years in prison for renting a mentally disabled woman out for sex, a federal judge ordered.

U.S. District Judge Carol Jackson sentenced Wallace, 34, to prison following the woman's guilty plea on a charge of sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

The sentence came despite comments from Wallace's public defender, who portrayed her client as a former abuse victim, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Lucy Liggett said when Wallace was a young girl, her mentally ill mother supported her drug habit by renting Wallace out for sex.

Wallace was accused by prosecutors of renting a mentally disabled 18-year-old woman, identified only as Jane Doe, out for sex to garner funds for a debt, liquor and drugs.

The Post-Dispatch said Wallace's sister, April Wallace, 29, received five years in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.

A third suspect, Richard Marquis Harper, 21, received 27 months in prison after pleading guilty to a charge of misprision of a felony over comments he made to the police.

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