A federal jury convicted 48-year-old Edward Walker on charges of sex trafficking by force and coercion, sex trafficking of a minor and by force and coercion, and transporting a person for sexual activity following an eight-day trial in Fort Lauderdale. Walker faces up to life in prison upon sentencing on January 6th, 2022.
The DOJ accused Walker of bringing the three women from Connecticut to Miami to engage in “commercial sex acts” during Super Bowl weekend. “While in Miami, Walker emotionally, psychologically, and financially coerced the victims into soliciting customers and having sex with them in exchange for money, all of which Walker kept,” the DOJ said in a statement.
Federal investigators also found evidence that Walker planned to take his victims to subsequent events like the NBA All-Star Game in Chicago and New Orleans’ Mardi Gras to “further sexually exploit them.”
Walker was arrested on February 7th, 2020 by the FBI Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force in partnership with local authorities. While events like the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby are annually labeled as hubs for sex trafficking, there is no evidence that is the case, with the FBI admitting following Walker’s arrest — one of two sex trafficking arrests from the 2020 Super Bowl — “There is no reliable data to determine the prevalence of human trafficking in any one city or geographic region, nor that there is an increase in human trafficking surrounding large, national events.”