2 Port Huron men charged with child sex trafficking

Published: Dec. 12, 2017 at 11:17 AM EST
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(12/12/2017) - Two Port Huron men are accused of sex trafficking a young girl in the Detroit area for about six months of this year.

An expansive investigation involving local, state and federal authorities led to the arrest of Joseph McGough and Robert Standfield, both 23. They are facing prostitution and sex trafficking charges that could land them in prison for at least 20 years.

The victim approached police in September, which led to an investigation led by the Macomb County Child Exploitation Task Force. The girl claimed McGough was trafficking her for sex at hotels in Macomb and Oakland counties from April to September.

She told investigators that she and a friend were recruited to engage in a commercial sex operation led by McGough and his friend, Standfield. The suspects took the girl from her hometown to the Metro Detroit area, where they moved from hotel to hotel while she engaged in sex acts for pay.

The girl said McGough showed her how to use the Backpage sex trading website and told her to use a false name to post in the massage section. She claimed McGough forced her to go on multiple "dates" per day and kept all her earnings.

Standfield is accused of managing the operation while McGough was out of town for a while.

"The investigation and prosecution of anyone who commits such heinous crimes against children will always remain one of the FBI's top priorities,” said David P. Gelios, special agent in charge at the Detroit Division of the FBI.

McGough was arrested and arraigned in November while Standfield was arrested and arraigned on Friday, both in Warren's 37th District Court.

Both suspects are facing charges of sex trafficking a minor, accepting earnings from prostitution, transporting a female for purposes of prostitution and conducting a criminal enterprise. Each charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

McGough remained in custody Tuesday at the Macomb County Jail on $300,000 bond awaiting a court hearing on Thursday. Standfield remained in custody on $100,000 bond awaiting hearings on Dec. 21 and 28.