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Madisonville Woman Sentenced to 15 Years for Prostitution, Human Trafficking

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Madisonville, Texas The woman behind a prostitution ring in Madisonville has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for human trafficking and prostitution.

News 3 looked at how the jury convicted Jennifer Kelly of forcing a minor to become part of a prostitution ring at her rental home.

News 3 was there for the raid April 26th when 34-year-old Jennifer Kelly was arrested at her rental home on East Collard Street in Madisonville.

Police say multiple prostitutes including women and men worked for Kelly.

"No extremely surprised," said Catherine Vaezil.

She doesn't know the suspect but lives just a few houses down on this otherwise quiet street.

"I thought that our neighborhood was a very nice neighborhood with very decent people and the majority of our neighborhood is," she said.

After the jury convicted her, Jennifer Kelly was sentenced to 15 years and ten years for her crimes. Police and prosecutors say she would offer the victims a place to stay and then force them into prostitution.

The victim in this case was just 17.

Madison County District Attorney Brian Risinger says human trafficking is a much broader problem than just smuggling.

"Well we are very excited about the fact that the jury in our community stood up and did the right thing in this case. This is kind of an unusual case for a town of this size," said Risinger.

Madisonville Police Lt. Jonathan Zitzmann says the 17-year-old-girl may have been as young as 13 when she first started working for Kelly.

He says more victims could be involved.

"It's a very sad story. Hopefully we can get this victim's life back on track after the horrible exploitation by Jennifer Kelly," Zitzmann said.

"Children should not be exploited like that. No one should be exploited like that," added Catherine Vaezi.

Jennifer Kelly's sentences are running concurrently, meaning at most she'll spend 15 years in prison.

Investigators say Kelly would get girls hooked on meth and then force them into prostitution to pay for the drugs.

The Attorney Generals Office helped prosecute the case.

*Previous Story*
A Madisonville woman was sentenced to 25 years in prison for human trafficking and prostitution Wednesday.

Jennifer Kelly was arrested during a sting operation in April of 2013 when police said she was involved in forcing girls as young as 13 into prostitution. According to Madison County Police, Kelly's sentence will run concurrently, so she can only serve a maximum of 15 of the 25 year sentence.

Prosecutors say Kelly offered the prostitutes a place to stay and forced some of them into the business after getting them hooked on meth. The Texas Attorney General's office help in the prosecution.


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