Oakland man found guilty of child sex trafficking
Kenneth Sparks was also convicted of producing child pornography, faces up to life in prison
SAN FRANCISCO – A 36-year-old Oakland man is facing up to life in prison after a jury convicted him of child sex trafficking and producing child pornography, federal prosecutors said.
The jury found Kenneth Orlando Sparks guilty of trafficking the teenage victim on the “Blade,” a term used to describe commercial sex strips in San Francisco and Oakland, as well as recording videos of himself having sex with the victim in July 2019.
In a statement Thursday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Sparks arranged to transport the teen to and from the Blade and offered her advice and instruction while she was working. He also reportedly disregarded a warning about the victim’s age.
Authorities opened an investigation into Sparks after San Francisco police officers stopped him and the teen in July 2019. Prosecutors said the officers learned the victim was a minor and observed evidence of her involvement in commercial sex work.
A federal grand jury indicted Sparks on Sept. 29, 2021, charging him with one count each of production of child pornography, sex trafficking of a minor, coercion and enticement of a minor, and receipt of child pornography. The latter charge was dismissed before trial and the jury acquitted Sparks of the enticement charge.
Sparks faces 15 to 30 years in prison for the production of child pornography conviction and 10 years to life in prison for the sex trafficking of a minor conviction. For both convictions, he also faces a $250,000 fine and a life term of supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria has not yet scheduled Sparks’ sentencing hearing. Sparks remains free on bond, pending further hearings, according to prosecutors.