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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Tennessee Prosecutes Sex-Trafficking Customer for the First Time in History

Tennessee Prosecutes Sex-Trafficking Customer for the First Time in History

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In a landmark move, the State of Tennessee has leveled charges against a man for sex-trafficking–this time, the focus is on the customer rather than the seller.

Michael Kohlmeyer, age 33 of Trenton, TN, spent a period of 13 hours over three days exchanging online chat messages to negotiate a sex-trafficking deal for a 12-year-old girl.  If convicted of the criminal charges, Kohlmeyer could be facing anywhere between 15 and 60 years in prison.

While Tennessee has earlier convicted the sellers in sex-trafficking negotiations, an intensified crackdown on sex-trafficking in general now has them gunning for the customers, as well.

“If not for the buyers, no one would be selling these girls,” states Assistant District Attorney Antoinette Welch, “We want to send the message that we will not tolerate the buying and selling of children.”

According to The Tennessean, a released transcript of the online messages show Kohlmeyer was willing to pay between $5,000 to $10,000 to keep the girl for a month.

While agreeing that the messages were “horribly inappropriate,” Assistant Public Defender Chaucey Fuller is claiming that Kohlmeyer didn’t actually do anything wrong.  The messages, claims Fuller, never reached a point of criminal activity because they never discussed actual details, nor was there any real victim involved.  Kohlmeyer, states Fuller, works for less than $9 an hour in a warehouse, making it impossible to afford the price discussed in the messages.

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