Global Blue Technologies co-founder sentenced to life in prison
A Texas aquaculture businessman convicted last year on child sex trafficking charges has been sentenced to life in prison.
U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzalez Ramos sentenced David Keith Wills on Tuesday, 22 September, after he was convicted on 17 of 18 counts after a 10-day trial.
Wills co-founded and was a part-owner of Global Blue Technologies, a shrimp hatchery company in Rockport, Texas that sells broodstock.
Prosecutors said Wills, 68, and his mistress conspired in the crime, using cell phones to schedule meetings at their respective houses or hotels in the Corpus Christi area, where he’d abuse the girl. The crimes started in 2012, when the victim was 10 years old, and continued until she reported the abuse in April 2015.
Authorities said he promised to pay for her college tuition if he could continue the relationship. He also repaid Maria Candelaria Losoya, his mistress, for gifts to the victim, including an iPad, an Apple laptop, Bose headphones, a flatscreen television, a trampoline, a swimming pool and a school trip to Washington, D.C.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigator said in a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office that Wills used “economic and psychological manipulation” on the girl.
“With today's sentencing, we have removed this predator from the community and sent a resounding message that we are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks to exploit our nation's children,” said Mark Dawson, the special agent in charge of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Losoya previously pleaded guilty for her role. Last year, a judge sentenced her to 15 years in prison.
Willis must also pay USD 85,000 (EUR 72,793) in fines and USD 172,000 (EUR 147,299) in restitution to the victim, Ramos ordered.
Wills’ attorney filed a notice of appeal on the same day the sentence was delivered.