PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Missouri man was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in prison for taking a developmentally delayed teenage girl from Massachusetts to a motel in Rhode Island, where he sold her to a man for $40 and two packs of cigarettes to use for sex.
Thirty-year-old Stephen Ardrey, of Springfield, Missouri, previously pleaded guilty to trafficking a minor and transporting a minor to engage in sex. He was sentenced in federal court in Rhode Island and apologized to the girl and her family.
Prosecutors say Ardrey met the 17-year-old girl online and corresponded with her for months before taking her in September from a library in Medfield, Massachusetts, to a motel in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. He engaged in sexual activity with her and sold her to another man, they say. She was found in neighboring Coventry after someone saw her walking with Ardrey.
The girl’s mother told the court her daughter suffers from nightmares and panic attacks and could not attend the sentencing because of her anxiety. She said her daughter is in therapy and recently graduated from high school.
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