December 22, 2008
(Gratis D. Shur)
OMAHA, Neb. -- A man who was found guilty of selling two Omaha teens for sex has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Leonard Russell was the first person to be convicted under Iowa's human trafficking law. Russell was found guilty in September following a trial in Crawford County, Iowa. He was also convicted of one count of ongoing criminal conduct and two counts of pandering.
Prosecutors said Russell, who used addresses in Sioux City, Iowa, and Omaha recruited and harbored two girls, ages 15 and 16, who were runaways.
The Iowa attorney general said Marcia Ryan helped recruit the underage runaway girls in Omaha last August and took them to Russell for the purposes of selling them for sex.
Ryan's mother told KETV in September that her daughter was a victim in the scheme. Cassandra Ryan said Russell preyed on her daughter in addition to the teens.