ATLANTA—A 23-year-old man has pleaded guilty to one count of Human Trafficking following an undercover online “chat” investigation by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.
Demonte Engle has been convicted for soliciting a purported 14-year-old female online for sex, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced on Oct. 31.
The case stems from an investigation conducted between Oct. 19, 2021 and Nov. 1, 2021.
Engle falsely told an undercover officer that he was 17 years old. On Nov. 1, 2021, after days of soliciting the purported teen online, Engle offered to pay $40 to have sexual intercourse with the purported 14-year-old and traveled to an agreed-upon location in Buford, Georgia, to meet for the exchange. At that time, Engle was arrested by the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.
The case marks the first undercover online chat case to be successfully prosecuted by the Gwinnett Sheriff’s Office’s Human Trafficking Prosecution. This also marks the fourth conviction to be obtained by the Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit since July 25, 2022, Carr’s office stated.
A Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge set Engle’s sentence at 25 years to serve five years of house arrest. Engle will also be required to register as a sex offender.
Carr said the conviction should send a message to those who attempt to exploit children.
“…This is a novel case and should send a message to all those who attempt to exploit our children by engaging in this criminal industry – you will be stopped and held accountable,” Carr stated.