Houston, TX- Today Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), Chairman of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus issued the following statement on the first sentenced human trafficker under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (JVTA). James Patrick Manning of Tampa is the first criminal to be sentenced under JVTA after he responded to an advertisement posted on Backpage.com by an undercover federal agent in an attempt to purchase sex from a 14-year-old girl.

“James Manning has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars, which is exactly where he belongs for attempting to purchase a trafficked child for sex,” said Congressman Ted Poe. This new federal penalty implemented under JVTA goes directly after the people who are the lifeblood of the trafficking business—the buyers. The key to fighting any criminal enterprise is to follow the money trail. This is the first time JVTA has been used to prosecute and sentence a sex abuser. JVTA makes absolutely clear that those who attempt to purchase sexual acts from human trafficking victims are in fact human traffickers and should be punished under federal law as such. Buyers of minors and trafficked persons are now subject to the same penalties as sellers. I am proud to have led the fight in Congress to go after both human traffickers and their customers. Our children are not for sale.”