An ATF agent lifts crime scene tape in 2013 in DeSoto. Star-Telegram archives
An ATF agent lifts crime scene tape in 2013 in DeSoto. Star-Telegram archives

Fort Worth

Man who sex-trafficked 18-year-old UNT student gets 13-year prison sentence

August 16, 2017 08:03 PM

UPDATED August 17, 2017 04:26 PM

DALLAS

A Wichita Falls man was sentenced to 13 years in prison Wednesday for forcing a then-18-year-old University of North Texas student into prostitution.

Joshua William Jackson, 29, was a fugitive on probation wanted for sex-trafficking the UNT student and illegally buying firearms before authorities caught up with him, according to court documents.

Jackson started charging men money for sex acts performed by a UNT student identified as V.N. in court documents in June 2013 and kept all the money she made, according to a federal arrest warrant affidavit. Jackson increased V.N.’s fee for sexual acts in January 2014, the warrant said.

Jackson absconded from probation in connection with a 2010 theft charge out of Fort Bend County and committed the crimes while he was a fugitive, according to the warrant.

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When V.N. told him she wanted to stop being a prostitute in the fall of 2014, Jackson used a Taser to shock her on the chest, stomach, thigh and genitals in addition to threatening her with a pistol as punishment. Jackson threatened V.N. with a firearm an estimated 10 times and in December 2015 told her he would kill her mother, father, brother and nephew if she did not do what he said.

Jackson also told V.N. that she had nowhere to run because he would find her and sell her if she tried to get away. Jackson took V.N. to various cities, including Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Denton, Dallas, Austin and Tampa, Fla., by car, the warrant said. In January 2016, V.N. escaped and reported Jackson to authorities, the warrant said.

That same month V.N. moved back into her parents’ home. But Jackson began posting commercial sex advertisements on Backpage.com for V.N. between Jan. 22 and March 27, 2016, without her knowledge or permission.

These advertisements contained photos of V.N. as well as V.N.’s parents’ address and Jackson’s cellphone number. Jackson, posing as V.N., told customers to go to her parents’ house where she would engage in sex acts with them. Several men did so, the affidavit said.

A former roommate of Jackson told investigators that he purchased four guns for Jackson in 2014 and 2015. The roommate said Jackson took two guns with him, a Smith and Wesson .380-caliber Bodyguard pistol and a 9mm Springfield Armory XDS handgun.

Authorities recovered two handguns manufactured in Croatia during a search of Jackson’s residence in the 2600 block of Ninth Street in Wichita Falls on April 27, 2016. During the raid agents also found numerous rounds of ammunition.

Three women at the house were “detained and identified for safety purposes,” after agents with the ATF, Wichita Falls police and Homeland Security searched the residence.

In February 2016, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office told officers with the North Texas Trafficking Task Force that the woman had accused Jackson of “using force, fraud and coercion to cause her to engage in commercial sex acts over an extended period of time.”

She told authorities that she enrolled at the University of North Texas when she was 18, in September 2012. She said she met Jackson at an anime convention in Dallas. He was living in Houston and came to visit the woman at her UNT dorm in October 2012 and then just moved in, she said.

UNT policy limits guest stays in residence halls to three days, UNT spokeswoman Margarita Venegas said at the time of Jackson’s arrest. Jackson has never been affiliated with UNT, Venegas said.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the North Texas Trafficking Task Force investigated, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Cara Pierce prosecuted the case.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

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