Seven Kansans, including the part owner of a former Lawrence night club, have been accused of running a multistate prostitution operation, federal prosecutors said Friday.
A federal grand jury this week returned a 10-count indictment against the seven Topeka residents, saying they recruited women — and a 17-year-old girl — to engage in prostitution with clients throughout the Midwest.
The indictment says the group sought out women, including some at homeless shelters, who needed money or a place to live.
Frank Boswell, 41, owner of a Topeka lawn care business and a part owner of the now-closed Club Magic in Lawrence, is accused of leading the operation.
The others charged: Rachel Flenniken, 33, who allegedly managed business operations for Boswell; Michaela Hekekia, 35, who allegedly recruited and trained sex workers; Shannon Nelson, 22, described as having a trusted role in the operation; Sean P. Hall, 46, who allegedly set up online advertising and transported workers to meet with clients; Andre C. Rhoiney, 47, allegedly an enforcer for the operation; and Barry M. Johnson, 39, who allegedly recruited workers.
The indictment says Flenniken, Hekekia and Nelson also participated as commercial sex workers.
Charges in the indictment include conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; conspiracy to engage in interstate prostitution; sex trafficking of a minor; and transporting a minor for prostitution. The most serious charge carries a maximum sentence of up to life in prison.