U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings of the Western District of Kentucky sentenced Cleoretta Allen, 41, of Louisville, Kentucky, yesterday to serve 180 months in prison and 20 years of supervised release.
According to court filings, Allen operated the “Playhouse of Domination” – a BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism-submission, masochism) business from an apartment she rented in Louisville. The business provided non-sexual BDSM services to adult clients. When two of Allen’s top employees quit in 2017, her business revenues suffered, and so Allen expanded her business to involve illegal prostitution services. Over the next several months, Allen used violence, threats, and intimidation to coerce two young women to provide commercial sex acts for Allen’s clients in the Louisville area. Some of Allen’s violent conduct against one of the victims was so severe as to require medical treatment at a hospital. Allen posted commercial sex advertisements for the victims on the internet, and on one occasion transported the two women from Kentucky to Georgia to engage in prostitution.
“The Department of Justice is committed to holding sex traffickers responsible for their horrendous and immoral crimes as demonstrated by yesterday’s sentence,” said Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband of the Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to prosecute human trafficking in all its forms and seek justice on behalf of victims and survivors.”
“Those who commit crimes of this nature lose sight of the humanity of their victims; that they are someone’s daughter, a person with dignity and value, someone’s little girl,” said U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman for the Western District of Kentucky. “As evidenced by a sentence of a decade and a half in federal prison with no parole, this foul conduct will not be tolerated in the Western District of Kentucky.”
“As evidenced by yesterday’s sentencing, the FBI, along with our state and local partners, is committed to bringing to justice those that exploit our most vulnerable citizens. Investigating all forms of human trafficking is a priority of the FBI and we will continue to vehemently pursue investigations into sex trafficking on behalf of victims and survivors alike,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office.
Restitution to human trafficking victims is mandatory under applicable federal law, and the district court will determine appropriate restitution at a future date.
The FBI in Louisville, Kentucky, the Louisville Metro Police Department, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda E. Gregory of the Western District of Kentucky, and Special Litigation Counsel William E. Nolan and Trial Attorney Kate Alexander of the Civil Rights Division’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit.
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