North Texas woman sentenced for child sex trafficking
GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas (KXII) - A Grayson County woman who plead guilty to child sex trafficking received a 12 year prison sentence.
30-year-old Joylette Blanton was sentenced Friday for compelling prostitution of a minor and trafficking of a person.
Prosecutors said on February 22, 2021, special agents with the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) were notified of a 15-year-old being advertised on an escort site.
Through their investigation, they were led to a residence in Sherman that belonged to Blanton. The special agents worked into the early morning hours developing sufficient information to obtain arrest warrants for Blanton and co-defendant Robert Franklin, along with a search warrant for their apartment.
Prosecutors said members of the District Attorney’s Office Rapid Response Team, were also on scene at the apartment complex to assist in the investigation. Agents were able to locate and arrest both Franklin and Blanton.
According to prosecutors, Blanton stated she had been acting at the direction of Franklin, who had previously been her pimp, and was also involved in acts of prostitution and sex trafficking for Franklin.
It was revealed that Blanton was housing the 15-year-old as well as arranging and transporting her to perform sexual acts, according to the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office. The victim was later found safe upon having returned to her guardians.
“While Joylette Blanton was also a victim, it was clear she was assisting in trafficking a child. There is no excuse for her to allow this type of activity to occur in the home where her own children lived. She had opportunities to disassociate herself from her co-defendant Franklin and instead chose to benefit and profit from the victim,” said ADA Laura Wheeler.
District Attorney Brett Smith added, “Unfortunately, Grayson County is not immune to these type of crimes which prey on children. These cases are extremely difficult to prosecute because the traffickers knowingly exploit vulnerable young children who are often reluctant to come forward and cooperate. Our thoughts go out to the victim in this case.”
Due to the nature of the charge, Blanton will be required to serve at least half of her sentence before being eligible for parole and be required to register as a sex offender for life, according to the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors said co-defendant Robert Franklin is currently in the Fannin County Jail with pending federal narcotics charges and has a pending indictment in the 15th District Court for these charges.
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