Man pleads guilty to sex trafficking charge in SD

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Associated Press

Posted on March 13, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 13 at 9:32 PM

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Federal authorities say a Texas man has pleaded guilty to a commercial sex trafficking charge stemming from an undercover operation in South Dakota.

The U.S. Attorney in Sioux Falls on Thursday announced the plea of 54-year-old Timothy Gravens.

The man from Grapevine, Texas, is one of nine who were arrested last summer on charges of trying to pay for sex with underage girls after responding to online classified ads placed during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Gravens' attorney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

An affidavit filed in federal court states the men responded to the ads and then negotiated with undercover agents who were acting as the 12- and 13-year-old girls' pimps.

Authorities say five of the nine defendants have pleaded guilty and four are scheduled for trial.

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