LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas man was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a six-year-old child.
34-year-old Mario Waters of Palestine, AR admitted in court to having sexual contact with the minor and trafficking her along with others.
In February 2018, the six-year-old victim arrived at Arkansas Children’s Hospital due to symptoms that were later determined to be caused by several sexually transmitted diseases.
Doctors determined that it was unlikely the child had obtained the STDs from the same offender and that there were likely multiple offenders.
An FBI forensic interviewer spoke with the child, who revealed that two different men had raped her in a hotel room— Mario Waters and DeMarcus George.
According to the child, on at least one occasion Waters had come to the room where she was with George and raped her before exchanging money.
Law enforcement located a hotel in Little Rock that matched a description provided by the minor, and their financial records showed that the minor's mother had rented a room in March 2018 and paid with a credit card.
The child has since been removed from the mother's custody.
Officers obtained search warrants for George and Waters’ blood and urine, who both tested positive for STDs that the minor had contracted.
Both perpetrators were indicted in September 2019 and pleaded guilty in November 2021. George was sentenced to life in prison on October 25, 2022.