EAST ST. LOUIS • A man from Park Hills, Mo., who coerced a distraught 15-year-old Metro East girl into prostitution in truck stops and trailer parks in at least three states was sentenced Wednesday to life in federal prison.
Marcus Dewayne Thompson pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis in May of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, or coercion and sex trafficking of a child by force, fraud, or coercion.
Thompson approached the girl in Madison in June of 2015, as she was contemplating suicide after arguing with her father over becoming pregnant. He was in a pickup with the four other girls inside and promised her a modeling career, court documents say.
Instead, Thompson and his wife, Robin Thompson, arranged sex acts with men in Florida, Georgia and Louisiana via the website Backpage.cοm. The group was living in a camper Marcus Thompson stole.
Robin Thompson negotiated prices, helped get hotel rooms, provided condoms and kept records. She also threatened the teen if she tried to escape or talk to authorities.
She also admitted prostituting two other women online.
U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan called Thompson a "predator" who had both raped the minor at least five times and facilitated her rape by others, prosecutors said.
The victim contacted authorities in July 2015 from Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis.
Robin Thompson was sentenced last month to 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge. At the time, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan called the crime one of the worst he has ever seen.
Parole has been abolished in the federal system, meaning a life sentence is just that.