Madison man found guilty of 10 counts related to sex trafficking of minors

James Coney
James Coney(Dane County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 5:20 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 5:29 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Madison man was found guilty in court Monday of 10 counts related to sex trafficking of minors, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

The jury found James Coney, 32, to be guilty of four counts of sex trafficking of a minor, one count of sex trafficking of a minor by force, one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor and four counts of transporting a minor from Wisconsin to Illinois for the purpose of prostitution.

The decision followed four days of testimony in the U.S. District Court in Madison and five hours of deliberation by the jury, according to a news release.

The jury found that Coney trafficked five minors, attempted to traffic a sixth minor and then transported three minors from Wisconsin to Illinois where they engaged in prostitution from May 2017 to March 2018, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin Timothy M. O’Shea reports. The Wisconsin Department of Justice noted that Coney took one of the minors on two separate days.

Evidence from the trial showed that Coney used an advertising website to arrange meetings for the minors, collected the money and told the minors what to do. All of the minor victims testified at trial, the DOJ said.

Multiple witnesses who testified report that Coney was physically and verbally abusive to one of the victims who was with Coney the longest, from May 2017 to March 2018.

The DOJ explained that the investigation started when one of the victims was reported missing by her mother to the Fitchburg Police Department. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported the disappearance, and they were later found in Chicago with Coney.

Coney faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of life in federal prison, the DOJ added. The court has not decided on a date for Coney’s sentencing.

Multiple law enforcement agencies assisted with this investigation, which was led by the Fitchburg Police Department and Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.

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