A southwest Houston man pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to sex traffic three adult women by means of force and violence in Houston and other locations across the country.
Marquis Holmes, 28, from Katy, Texas, pleaded guilty June 13 to one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking by means of force, fraud and coercion; two counts of transportation to engage in prostitution; and two counts of enticing and coercing another to travel in interstate commerce for prostitution.
From June 2015 until March 2018, Marquis scoured social media websites to recruit women, often under false pretenses, to work as prostitutes for him. Under threat of violence and actual violence, Marquis prostituted two of these women in Houston and Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Mississippi; Alabama; South Carolina, and other locations across the United States.
Marquis coerced the women to pose for pictures used in online ads for sex and to engage in commercial sex acts for money. Marquis collected all the money the women earned.
On March 30, 2018, authorities arrested Marquis, at which time a third victim was rescued along with her infant child. After repeatedly physically assaulting the woman, Marquis forced her to solicit commercial sex dates along the 1.3-mile stretch of Bissonnet St., commonly referred to as "The Track." If she did not meet the monetary quota Marquis had set, he beat her and deprived her of food.
Marquis has been and will remain in custody pending his sentencing, which is set for Sept. 19. At that time, he faces up to life in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sebastian Edwards and Carrie Wirsing, Southern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.