Couple indicted for sex trafficking minor, documents show

Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 7:25 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - 52-year-old Sandra Shaw and 60-year-old Steven Turner are each facing two counts of commercial sex trafficking, aggravated sexual battery, and one count of soliciting exploitation of a minor after allegedly abusing a child between Aug. 2016 and Jan. 2021.

Both of them were indicted in May, but documents related to the indictment were not available until a few days ago.

Turner was arrested in October and has since bonded out of jail.

Shaw is sitting in a jail cell after being put in cuffs, Tuesday.

Both were indicted by a Shelby County grand jury after prosecutors say they “unlawfully and knowingly benefited” from commercial sex acts provided by a minor and “unlawfully and intentionally” engaged in sexual contact with each other and with a minor under 13 years old.

Coasy Hale with Restore Corps, an advocacy organization working to end human trafficking, says when it comes to victims under 18, typically traffickers are someone the victim knows who manipulates their relationship.

“Human trafficking, sex trafficking it happens here,” said Restore Corps Interim Executive Director Coasy Hale. “Research suggests that for females the average age of entry into the life of sex trafficking is between 12 years old and 14 years old. So, while it’s sad and disheartening, it also added to the data.”

Hale says Restore Corps has provided more than 140 victims this year in West Tennessee, 35 of them under 18.

“That’s why it’s so ultra-important for us to educate our communities, educate our schools, educate our children so that they kinda know what sex trafficking looks like,” said Hale.

She says we all can do our part by paying attention to changes in personality, behavior, activity online and if something doesn’t look right, always say something.

Shaw will make an appearance in court for these charges in January.

Turner’s next court appearance is also next month.

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